T Nation

BALCO Scandal On 20/20


Did anyone watch the Friday night episode of 20/20 profiling Victor Conte and the BALCO "scandal"? I have to say that I was totally impressed by VC's demeanor and his answers to all questions. He really didn't try to pull the wool over anyone's eyes (like I thought he would), and there was little mention of how "dangerous" the drugs were.
Most importantly, I like the fact that he repeatedly mentioned that he was simply leveling the playing field, because so many people use drugs. I can't imagine that this got through to many people though... He also bore full responsibility for his actions (maybe this was indeed an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes).

The only criticism I have, is that they didn't show any mention of the responsibility held by sports viewers for creating the "drug monster". VC alluded to it, but any possible further mention was deleted.

Overall I was left with a positive feeling about the whole situation and VC himself (maybe some eyes will begin to open to the reality of the situation because of this). BUT I must ask if I am simply biased because I expected the worst, and did not see it.

Let us know what you thought.



Why did you expect the worst? What preconceived ideas did you have that were dispelled?


Everything I heard in the news made me think that VC was some sort of prick but after watching the interview he seemed well-spoken and knowldgeable.

I was really disappointed in hearing that Marion Jones still denies using drugs supplied by BALCO. It just shows how some of the "athletes" have no morals or merit.


What are the "Clear" and the "Cream", really? I'm sure they were undetectable back then but we have to know what they are now. HGH and Insulin do not produce those kind of results in 2-3 weeks like with the sprinter Kim.
It would be interesting to here an interview with Chalie Francis after here this 20/20 to see what his words and take would be.


I was quite impressed with his demeanor as well. I don't remember danger or side effects even being mentioned until the Kelly White interview and then by the hosts at the end of the show.

Overall VC seemed to regret what he had done but he also seemed proud of his accomplishments. When he spoke of Montgomery and White he had a smirk on his face and I think it was because he was very happy with what he was able to help them accomplish. I also liked that he repeatedly said that he was just bringing these athletes up to a "level playing field". I expected to be pissed off after watching the show becuase I had anticipated another "steroids will kill you" report, instead I was quite impressed with the report.



The Clear and the Cream...at least one of them is the THG that got so much press. Could just be two different delivery systems.

I thought the most telling part of the story was when they were talking about when Kelli White was stripped of her medals at the World Championships after testing positive for THG. They went on to say that the women who finished 2nd and 3rd at the WC's were both disqualified for testing positive within the next year.

I really like to believe in 'amateurism' and a level playing field, especially at the Olympics (call me old fashioned). You want to believe that VC is an anomale, but he's not...he's just the only one they've found. There is no doubt that there are several more VC's in this country, and certainly abroad.


Wonder if he could release one more run of the "clear" before the end of the year ban?


How does insulin aid in recovery? I am wondering cus I am a type-1 diabetic who had been taking insulin since the age of 2 and have never heard about people using it to enhance their bodies physically.


I got the impression that "clear" was an illegal anabolic steroid; the injectable kind. So, the Jan2005 ban would have nothing to do with availability.


clear is THG
cream is testosterone

It was unfortunate they didn't define these for the public. I was also impressed. I thought he came off arrogant, but that may be his matter of fact delivery.

Insulin increases AA and glucose transport into muscle for glycogen and protein synthesis. It also inhibits breakdown.

Anyone heard the rumor that Patrick Arnold is the chemist who made THG?


According to what I've found online:

If blood sugar levels are too high insulin is released, which stores more glucose in the cells as the polysaccharide glycogen, the prime energy source in the human body. This alone makes it a valuable hormone. But it also increases the uptake of other compounds into the cell. This includes protein. Since anabolic steroids increase protein synthesis, and we eat lots of protein, the only thing missing in that system is a way to get the amino acids to where the protein is synthesized. Insulin can do that. Its interesting to note that insulin does not have a direct negative feedback system like steroids do. When blood sugar levels drop, cells simply become more resistant to the insulin and don't receive as much of an impulse to store glycogen as they would at first. This is important, as it will have certain implications.


In ESPN the Magazine, or his testimony(I can't remember which)-which is on The Smoking Gun- Conte says that Patrick Arnold is the one who made the Clear (which is not an injectable steroid, you would put it under your tongue). In ESPN the Magazine, he says that the Clear was a 2nd generation undetectable Steroid, but that there is now a 3rd generation and possibly a 4th.


Why the prosecution of Marion? There's no proof besides "he said/she said". It's VC's word against Jones'. While I think it's extremely coincidental that the past Olympic games she didn't medal at all yet in the ones she's accused of she won 5. However she passed the test so these witch hunts need to stop. If they want to pursue the athletes then pursue the ones currently out there. Going after Marion is futile. I say she stick to her story and it'll go over better.

Now we have Bonds claiming..."I thought it was flax seed oil"?? Come now. I prefer the Jones approach than the Bonds. She wasn't caught...at least not redhanded. Why confess when there's no proof? You don't see OJ confessing... :wink:


Have to say from what I've seen/experienced that most/many top level Track & Field athletes are using something (whether it's banned already or not). Those closer to the situation in the Olympics have said that there ARE some clean athletes in the olympics - those in last place.

I thought it was a fairly clear interview and seemed suprisingly on target. Allusions at times to steroid "hype", but not bad overall. The deciding bodies of sport would be better off to level the playing field by letting the athletes do as they choose as far as performance enhancement goes. If a baseball player makes multiple millions of $ per year, I sure as hell want to see something spectacular - no matter what he's doing to make that happen.

BTW - Kelli White was stripped of her world championship medals because of the banned stimulant Modanfinil, not THG. Guess she didn't have narcolepsy after all (as she claimed prior to all the Balco mess...)


Were you really disappointed? It seems to me it's as natural for Marion to deny steroid use as it was for Clinton to deny sex with Monica...

A social stigma is attached to steroid use. Even though it might be (probably is) true that all top competitors use some performance enhancing drugs, the American public won't accept this...the masses without question deem steroid use "immoral."


How did you learn this?


That was a joke......


I did a search on the internet and found the same info as well.


Late last night I caught Jose Canseco on Geraldo. Before the flames start, I only stopped to watch it becuase Canseco was on there and I knew he had to be on there regarding the so-called steroid scandal. One thing I liked that Canseco did was he made it very clear that steroids can be very good for you if used properly. And then Geraldo shot back and asked why they are so good if Lyle Alzado died of them and Canseco laid it down and said that it was NEVER proven that steroids was the cause of Alzado's death. Canseco later explained that most of the baseball players are very knowledgeable of what they are taking and that many of them are safe. It was a good interview. Canseco is looking ripped up right now too and Geraldo had a comment about that and asked him if he was juicing right now, then he went on to tell Canseco that he used to have a bad attitude and tried to make it sound like it must have been the roid rage as to why he used to act the way he did.

It was good stuff



I figured it was going to be a juice bashing fest, which we all know the media seems to enjoy. Much to my surprise, there were no images of heroin junkies shooting up or mention of Lyle Alzado (apparently Geraldo had to bring up the latter tho). Could things actually be changing?