BALCO founder Victor Conte to address worldwide anti-doping leaders
Victor Conte, the founder of steroid distributer BALCO, will have a major platform to tell worldwide anti-doping officials how to improve their methods, Conte told The Times Monday.
Conte, who counted the trainer of Barry Bonds, Olympic sprinter Marion Jones and boxer Shane Mosley as customers when he operated BALCO, said he accepted a personal invitation from the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Travis Tygart, to give a 20-minute keynote speech to a gathering of worldwide anti-doping leaders who'll gather in Colorado Springs, Colo., Nov. 5.
Conte said he had a "productive discussion" with Tygart on Monday, agreeing to the session that will include several members of U.S. law enforcement, but not Jeff Novitzky, the former IRS agent who supervised the 2003 raid of BALCO and has been involved in probes that centered on Roger Clemens and now Lance Armstrong.
"I wanted to know this wasn't going to be an ambush," Conte said. "It won't be. There's no restrictions to what I say."It's an honor for me to be invited to participate at the upcoming anti-doping conference. I've made serious mistakes in the past, so I greatly appreciate the opportunity to attempt to make a contribution."
Conte said his speech will be "my prescription to fix anti-doping procedures. Travis wants my participation in a manner of my choosing."
That prescription from Conte will include a focus on increased out-of-competition testing and possible "corruption in anti-doping agencies and in labs themselves. My advice to the attendees is that they might want to look at each other, and do a better job at gathering intelligence.
"The first tier is quality control. The second is quality assurance. There's a lot of money out there for those interested in not having a positive test. This isn't just about athletes or testing."
-- Lance Pugmire