T Nation

BALCO lab scandal

Something smells fishy here!

Has anyone been following this? ESPN reported on this earlier in the week. I wonder if anyone (Barry Bonds/Bill Romanowski) will be linked to this?

Questionable sports lab should be avoided

The BALCO lab scandal has been very disturbing considering the repercussions it could have in sports ? both locally and worldwide.

How do we know this is a big story? Since we broke the story last week, the Daily Journal has fielded calls and e-mails from a number of major newspapers around the world looking for more information.

For those who haven?t been paying attention, a nutrition lab in Burlingame was raided by the IRS and county drug task force. The homes of the owner and a personal trainer with close ties with the lab have also been raided. The lab is reportedly used to evaluate an athlete?s nutritional breakdown and then prescribe supplements to attain optimum athletic performance. A lot may be legal, but the assumption is that there is also some illegal practices going on as well.

Now, no one is saying what’s going on and no arrests have been made. Maybe the raids are purely for personal conduct and have nothing to do with the lab itself. But there is enough legal action going on, and plenty of rumors to question why anyone would want to be associated with this particular lab. A number of world-class athletes ? from track stars, to football players and San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds have all been linked to the lab.

The Lounge?s main question is: Why? Apparently this lab is well known in the track world as having “questionable”
practices. If the owner and doctors and trainers are truly on the up and up, there is plenty of personal stuff going on to question why these athletes would go to this place. With an athlete’s
credibility on the line, why would they want to risk having all their performances questioned? There have to be plenty of other nutritionists and labs where these athletes can go to have their bodies evaluated and proper guidance given.

Sprinter Kelli White, who graduated from James Logan High School in Union City, tested positive for a stimulant at the recent world track and field championships in France. The drug is not banned by the world track federation but is considered a supplement to banned substances. She claims the drug she took was for a sleeping disorder, which would be fine. But she somehow managed to “forget” to include the drug on her drug declaration ? a form used by track athletes to list the drugs that they do take, anything from aspirin to asthma inhalers. How could someone, who’s
very livelihood depends on clean drug tests, forget to include a medicine that is used for a common problem?

Oakland Raider linebacker Bill Romanowski is also linked to the lab. Anyone that follows football knows that this guy is a supplement freak. He walks around with a suitcase filled with different pills he takes every day. The guy is also known as a loose, violent cannon, as his assault on his own teammate a couple of weeks ago attests to. People have questioned his habits in the past. This BALCO fiasco should only intensify those queries.

It all goes back to credibility. If you want to be known as an athlete that does things ?the right way? you avoid places like BALCO. If you just want to be the best you can be, consequences be damned, go ahead and sign up. But when the investigation comes to your house, don?t be surprised.

Bumpage for some interest.

ZMA was developed by Victor Conte of Balco Labs. Yet another scam on the fitness community?