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Balco Timeline

Mitchell Report (409 pg pdf)

2002-06 Collective Bargaining Agreement (pdf)

2007-11 Collective Bargaining Agreement (pdf)

Compiled by Bob Kimball and Beau Dure, Sources: USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, USA Track & Field, wire reports.

Victor Conte, a former bassist for Tower of Power and other bands, forms BALCO. He does chemical analysis on athletes using an ICP spectrometer, which is used in a variety of fields.

BALCO claims that many successful Olympic athletes from this period took its legal supplement ZMA, which contains zinc and magnesium.

Marion Jones begins getting ZMA from BALCO. She says in June 2004 that she still takes the supplement but no longer gets it directly from BALCO.

ZMA receives high-profile backing from U.S. sports stars Barry Bonds and Bill Romanowski.

Sept. 26, 2000:
The IOC and IAAF announce shot putter C.J. Hunter, Marion Jones husband at the time, has tested positive on four separate occasions for the steroid nandrolone. Victor Conte appears at the news conference and said it's the result of a mislabeled nutritional supplement. Conte also said Jones was not taking the supplement. Conte accused of the IOC and IAAF of withholding information that could have helped Hunter avoid a doping offense, according to a BBC report.

Oct. 1, 2000:
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency begins operation. It assumes responsibility for drug testing that had previously been done by U.S. sports federations.

Federal investigation of BALCO begins.

Summer 2003:
The first hint of THG emerges when USADA receives a tip and a used syringe containing a mysterious substance. The tipster is later identified as Trevor Graham, a sprint coach whose clients include Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Justin Gatlin.

Aug. 30, 2003:
The IAAF announces that Kelli White, who won the world title in the 100 and 200 meters earlier in the week, has had an initial positive test for modafinil. The substance isn't specifically banned, but IAAF regulations allow for "related substances" to be added. Modafinil is eventually classified as a stimulant punishable by forfeiture of results and a public warning on a first offense, though several independent physicians dispute whether it is a performance-enhancing drug. WADA later takes steps to make modafinil punishable by a two-year ban, though that punishment will not be enforced for those who tested positive in 2003.

White claims that the drug was prescribed to treat narcolepsy and that she checked its legality with proper authorities. The doctor who prescribed the drug is Brian Goldman, a former medical director at BALCO.

Sept. 3, 2003:
Local and federal authorities raid BALCO offices.

Oct. 16, 2003:
USADA releases a statement detailing its knowledge of THG. The agency says an anonymous coach provided the agency with a used syringe containing the substance, which was previously unknown. A lab at UCLA found that the substance was a steroid and quickly developed a test.

The coach pointed to BALCO's Conte as the source of the drug, the USADA statement said. USADA says it then contacted the Justice Department.

Oct. 21, 2003:
The IAAF says it will re-examine all samples from the World Championships using the new THG test. By the time re-testing is complete, no new names are added to the list of positive tests. Samples from swimming's World Championships and the 2002 Winter Olympics also are re-tested, with no positive results reported.

Oct. 22, 2003:
USA Track & Field CEO Craig Masback says four U.S. athletes have turned up positive A-samples (the first of two samples examined in a given test) for THG. The number had been thought to be significantly higher. The athletes are eventually revealed to be shot putter Kevin Toth, middle distance runner Regina Jacobs, hammer thrower John McEwen and hammer thrower Melissa Price.

Nov. 7, 2003:
British sprinter Dwain Chambers is suspended pending a hearing after U.K. Athletics announces a positive B-sample for THG. Chambers is later banned for two years. Under British rules, he also faces a lifetime ban from the Olympics.

Fall 2003:
Many athletes testify before the BALCO grand jury. Among those testifying: track and field athletes Marion Jones, Kevin Toth, Regina Jacobs, Chryste Gaines and Tim Montgomery; baseball players Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and Benito Santiago; football players Bill Romanowski and Barret Robbins; swimmer Amy Van Dyken; and boxer Shane Mosley.

Dec. 7, 2003:
The USATF approves a new "zero tolerance" policy that would include lifetime bans for first offenses on steroids, if such a ban is legal. The IAAF considers strengthening its first-offense penalty from two years to four, but legal questions arise for that move as well.

Dec. 30, 2003:
The USOC, following its protocol for releasing names 30 days after USADA's board says it will proceed in a doping case, announces seven positive tests. Six are track and field athletes linked to positive tests for modafinil: Kelli White, Chryste Gaines, John McEwen, Chris Phillips, Sandra Glover and Eric Thomas. McEwen also is reported to have tested positive for THG. All six athletes dispute the findings.

Jan. 13-16, 2004:
The USOC announces three more positive tests: Melissa Price (THG), Regina Jacobs (THG) and Calvin Harrison (modafinil). Though modafinil would be a lesser offense under the rules at the time, Harrison would face a two-year ban as a second offender.

Feb. 12, 2004:
Attorney General John Ashcroft announces a 42-count indictment against four men Ñ Victor Conte, BALCO executive James Valente, track coach Remi Korchemny and trainer Greg Anderson, who has worked with baseball player Barry Bonds. Among the charges: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute anabolic steroids, conspiracy to defraud through misbranded drugs, and money laundering.

Feb. 13, 2004:
Four men plead innocent to federal drug possession and distribution charges detailed in a 42-count indictment.

Feb. 16, 2004:
The USOC says Kevin Toth has tested positive for THG. All four U.S. athletes who had positive tests in 2003 are now officially named. Toth says he has retired, though he intends to fight to clear his name.

Feb. 24, 2004:
British sprinter Dwain Chambers, who trained with Remi Korchemny, receives a two-year ban for taking THG.

April 20, 2004:
Chryste Gaines, Sandra Glover, Eric Thomas and Christopher Phillips are sanctioned for modafinil use. All receive public warnings and are stripped of results, including Thomas' U.S. championship in the 400-meter hurdles and Phillips' fifth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles at the World Championships.

April 25, 2004:
The San Jose Mercury News reports that a government memorandum from September claims Conte admitted providing steroids to 27 athletes. Conte's lawyer acknowledges the existence of the memorandum but denies that his client made the comments. The athletes listed include five baseball players (Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Armando Rios), seven football players (Bill Romanowski, Dana Stubblefield, Josh Taves, Barret Robbins, Chris Cooper, Johnnie Morton, Daryl Gardener) and 15 track and field athletes (Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Regina Jacobs, Kevin Toth, Alvin Harrison, Calvin Harrison, Kelli White, Chryste Gaines, Eric Thomas, Michelle Collins, Ramon Clay, Dwain Chambers, John McEwen, Zhanna Block, Olga Vasdeki).

April 29, 2004:
Melissa Price and John McEwen receive two-year bans for THG use, USADA announces.

May 4, 2004:
Kevin Toth receives a two-year ban for THG and modafinil use, USADA announces. The shot putter loses his 2003 U.S. championship and fourth-place finish at the World Championships.

May 6, 2004:
The Senate Commerce Committee turns over evidence from the BALCO investigation to USADA.

May 15, 2004:
Marion Jones reasserts that she is drug-free and threatens to sue if USADA imposes a sanction that's based on anything other than a failed drug test.

May 17, 2004:
A New York judge dismisses a suit brought by Regina Jacobs against USADA and USATF. Jacobs had sought to go outside the usual arbitration process.

May 19, 2004:
Kelli White accepts a two-year ban for use of undetectable steroids and EPO. She is eventually stripped of all results since Dec. 15, 2000, including her world titles in the 100 and 200 meters. White never tested positive for a substance other than modafinil; USADA cites evidence obtained from the BALCO investigation in announcing her ban.

May 24, 2004:
Marion Jones and her attorneys meet with USADA. Afterward, Jones' attorneys show the media some portions of evidence they say USADA contends links Jones to BALCO. The attorneys dispute that the documents pertain to Jones.

June 8, 2004:
USADA confirms that it has sent letters to several track and field athletes notifying them of potential drug violations. The athletes are reported to be Tim Montgomery, Chryste Gaines, Michelle Collins and Alvin Harrison.

June 16, 2004:
Marion Jones calls for a public hearing in an effort to clear her name and prevent drug allegations from keeping her out of the Athens Olympics. "I am not going to engage in the United States Anti-Doping Agency's secret kangaroo court. I will answer questions in a public forum that will be open for the entire world to see, hear and evaluate," Jones said. USADA says it is required to treat matters in confidentiality but that athletes are not bound by that requirement.

June 23, 2004:
USA TODAY reports that USADA is seeking lifetime bans against Tim Montgomery, Chryste Gaines, Michelle Collins and Alvin Harrison.

June 24, 2004:
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Tim Montgomery told the grand jury that Victor Conte gave him weekly doses of THG in 2001. He testified that he used the banned substance for eight months before splitting with Conte in a money dispute. Montgomery also gave secondhand testimony in which Conte told him he had given Barry Bonds the steroid Winstrol. Attorneys for Montgomery and Bonds question the validity of the Chronicle report.

July 9-18, 2004:
Most athletes linked to the BALCO scandal fail to qualify for the Olympic team, sparing the U.S. difficult decisions on whether to proceed with athletes who might later be banned. Michelle Collins withdraws injured. Alvin Harrison finishes far behind in the 400-meter semifinals. Tim Montgomery reaches the 100-meter final but finishes seventh. Chryste Gaines is convincingly beaten in the 100-meter semifinals. Regina Jacobs retires. Calvin Harrison finishes fifth in the 400 and is named to the relay pool, but his suspension Aug. 2 renders the decision moot. Marion Jones, not officially charged with any doping offense, is the only BALCO-connected athlete to make the team, though she only makes the team in the long jump.

July 17, 2004:
Regina Jacobs accepts a four-year ban and is stripped of her 2003 U.S. title at 1,500 meters. Jacobs says she wanted "to avoid being subjected to what I believe would be an unfair hearing."

Aug. 2, 2004:
USADA hands Calvin Harrison a two-year suspension for his positive modafinil test. Harrison's punishment is more severe than that given to other modafinil offenders because his is considered a second offense. As a junior sprinter in 1993, he tested positive for pseudoephedrine. The punishment also means the U.S. loses its 4x400-meter relay gold medal from the 2003 World Championships (see Nov. 28, 2004).

August 2004:
Athens Olympics take place. No athletes test positive for THG or modafinil. Marion Jones, the only athlete under BALCO-related scrutiny to take part in the Games, finishes fifth in the long jump. Greek athletes Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou miss drug tests under mysterious circumstances, miss the Games and are later linked to BALCO.

Sept. 14, 2004:
The NFL fines Chris Cooper, Barret Robbins and Dana Stubblefield three game checks each after the three current and former Oakland Raiders tested positive for THG. A fourth player, Bill Romanowski, is reported to have tested positive but has retired. The four are the only positive tests in the league. The three active players are also warned that any subsequent positive test will result in an eight-game suspension.

Sept. 24, 2004:
Barry Bonds undergoes a random steroid test, which each major league is required to do under baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. "I'm glad this is finally happening," Bonds tells "They'll get the results and it will clear my name. It'll show that there's nothing behind what I've been doing (on the field) all year." Bonds goes on to lead the National League in batting average, slugging and on-base percentage on his way to winning a record seventh league MVP award.

Oct. 11, 2004:
Gary Sheffield tells Sports Illustrated that he was introduced to BALCO by Barry Bonds, with whom he has since severed ties. According to the magazine report, officials at the lab gave Sheffield a testosterone-based steroid known as "the cream" to be applied to a scar on his right knee. Sheffield says he didn't realize the "cream" was a steroid. Baseball officials say they will not punish the Yankees outfielder. Because of his association with BALCO, Sheffield was one of several high-profile athletes called to testify before the grand jury in 2003.

Oct. 19, 2004:
USADA announces that sprinter Alvin Harrison has accepted a four-year suspension for drug violations. Harrison admitted to the use of testosterone, THG, HGH and erythropoietin (EPO).

Nov. 28, 2004:
The United States is stripped of its 4x400-meter relay gold medal from the 2003 World Championships due to Calvin Harrison's second doping violation (see Aug. 2, 2004). One of Harrison's teammates was Jerome Young, who had received a lifetime ban earlier in the month for doping violations that had no known relation to BALCO, THG or modafinil. Harrison's other teammates to lose their world title are Tyree Washington and Derrick Brew, who are not linked to BALCO and are not facing doping charges.

Dec. 2, 2004:
The San Francisco Chroniclereports that in grand jury testimony, New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi admitted injecting himself with human growth hormone in 2003 and using steroids that he obtained from Barry Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, for at least three seasons. Giambi played only 80 games in 2004 because of a tumor, which the New York Daily News reported was in his pituitary gland; medical experts told the Chronicle that one of the drugs Giambi said he thought he had taken can exacerbate a tumor of the pituitary gland. The report also says Giambi's brother, Jeremy, used many of the same drugs.

Dec. 3, 2004:
The San Francisco Chroniclereports more grand jury testimony, this time from San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds. The Chronicle says Bonds admitted to unknowingly using steroids known as "the clear" and "the cream" during the 2003 season. Bonds said his personal trainer provided the steroids. The Chronicle also reported that prosecutors showed Bonds documents from 2001-03 alleging that he used various drugs, including human growth hormone and Depo-Testosterone. Bonds repeatedly has denied using performance-enhancing drugs. The report also says Bonds' former teammates Armando Rios, Benito Santiago and Bobby Estallella admitted to the grand jury that they used performance-enhancing drugs.

Also, BALCO founder Victor Conte appears on ABC's 20/20, claiming that he gave drugs to several athletes: track stars Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Kelli White; football players Bill Romanowski, Barret Robbins, Chris Cooper, and Dana Stubblefield. In ESPN The Magazine, Conte describes how he started in his business of legal supplements and gradually turned to steroids. Conte says he gave a steroid to Chryste Gaines, Alvin Harrison and Calvin Harrison in 1999, then started to provide Jones with various drugs a few weeks before the 2000 Olympics. He says he also started a doping program for Montgomery at the Olympics but later severed ties with Jones and Montgomery, only to get back into the doping business with White and Dwain Chambers. Conte says in the ESPN interview that he knew little about the baseball end of the business, which he says was in the hands of James Valente, but he says he gave drugs to Greg Anderson without knowing the purpose.

Dec. 7, 2004:
The International Olympic Committee says it will investigate Victor Conte's doping allegations against Marion Jones. IOC and WADA officials suggest that the three-year statute of limitations on challenging Olympic decisions may not apply.

Dec. 10, 2004:
Michelle Collins gets an eight-year ban, later reduced to four, from a panel of members of American Arbitration Association and the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport. Collins never tested positive but was found to have used EPO, THG and a testosterone cream. She is the first athlete without a positive test to argue her case before arbitrators. Collins also forfeits all results since Feb. 1, 2002, including her 200-meter world indoor championship in 2003. Lawyer Michael Coffield says he will appeal on Collins' behalf to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport before the end of the year.

Dec. 15, 2004:
Marion Jones files a $25 million defamation lawsuit against BALCO founder Victor Conte, claiming damages from potentially lost endorsement deals after Conte claimed in two interviews that he saw Jones use several drugs before and during the 2000 Olympics. Jones later challenges Conte to take a polygraph test, something her defense team claims she has taken and passed.

March 16, 2005:
A USA TODAY survey shows that baseball players think steroids have had a substantial impact on the game.

March 17, 2005:
Several current and former major league baseball players testifiy in front of the House Government Reform Committee on steroids in baseball. Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro were in attendance, while Frank Thomas testified via satellite. Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi were not required to attend due to their involvement in the ongoing BALCO case.

May 19, 2005:
Michelle Collins' ban is reduced to four years as part of an agreement in which she drops her appeal.

July 15, 2005:
Victor Conte pleads guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering in a deal with federal prosecutors. Conte will spend four months in prison and four months under house arrest. Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds' longtime friend and personal trainer, pleaded guilty to the same charges in exchange for a six-month prison sentence.

July 21, 2005:
The Court of Arbitration for Sport rules Alvin and Calvin Harrison, along with Michael Johnson, Antonio Pettigrew and Jerome Taylor, may keep their gold medals from the 4x400 relay in the 2000 Olympics despite the previous decision to strip Jerome Young of his gold. Young, who ran in the first two rounds of the relay but not the final, had a positive test in 1999 in a case not known to be linked to BALCO. Young was later banned for life after a second drug offense. The Harrison twins have been punished for BALCO-related drug offenses, but these were not part of the investigation into the 2000 Olympic case.

July 29, 2005:
Track coach Remi Korchemny pleads guilty to reduced charges, a move that likely will keep him out of prison. The plea agreement, the fourth and final one in the case, ends a drug prosecution that prompted tighter testing rules in professional sports.

Aug. 1, 2005:
Baseball player Rafael Palmeiro, who emphatically denied steroid use before a House panel in March, is suspended for a positive test he later blames on a vitamin B-12 shot.

Oct. 16, 2005:
60 Minutes broadcasts an interview in which former football player Bill Romanowski says he used steroids and human growth hormone. He names Victor Conte as the source of the drugs.

Oct. 18, 2005:
BALCO founder Victor Conte is officially sentenced to four months in prison and four months of house arrest as part of a plea deal for his role as mastermind behind a scheme to provide professional athletes with undetectable performance-enhancing drugs.

James Valente, BALCO's vice president, received probation after pleading guilty to reduced charges of steroid distribution. Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds' trainer, was sentenced to six months after pleading guilty to money laundering and a steroid distribution charge. He will spend three months behind bars and three months in home confinement.

Anderson and Conte remain free on bond and are scheduled to surrender to prison authorities Dec. 1.

Dec. 14, 2005:
Tim Montgomery tells Reuters he has retired from competition and split with girlfriend Marion Jones, with whom he has a son.

Feb. 24, 2006:
Remi Korchemny is sentenced to one year of probation.

March 16, 2006:
BALCO founder Victor Conte says he " never gave" steroids to Barry Bonds. Speaking to USA TODAY by phone from a California prison where his four-month sentence is about to end, Conte also does not directly address whether the San Francisco Giants slugger could have gotten steroids that someone else received from BALCO.

"My relationship with Barry Bonds was 100% about his nutrition," Conte says.

Conte also releases a statement to USA TODAY denying he gave Bonds steroids and denying statements attributed to him by federal investigator Jeff Novitzky on the day BALCO was raided, Sept. 3, 2003.

March 30, 2006:
Victor Conte released from prison.

April 25, 2006:
Bay Area newspapers report Barry Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, and former BALCO executive James Valente have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury investigating whether Bonds committed perjury.

June 22, 2006:
E-mails seized by federal authorities identify Victor Conte, the convicted founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, as a source in the San Francisco Chronicle's reporting on the steroids scandal, according to an online court filing that accidentally revealed confidential information.

June 29, 2006:
Olympic and world champion Justin Gatlin reveals that he has tested positive for testosterone. His coach is Trevor Graham.

Sept. 6, 2006:
A doping case against Marion Jones collapses when her "B" sample tests negative for EPO. Bother the "A" and "B" samples must test positive to incur a doping penalty.

Sept. 21, 2006:
Judge Jeffrey White tells San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams he will order them jailed for up to 18 months if they do not comply with his order to reveal their sources.

Dec. 14, 2006:
Cyclist Tammy Thomas is indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. Thomas, a former World Championship medalist banned for life in 2002 after a positive test for the steroid norbolethone, is accused of telling a grand jury she had not used steroids.

Dec. 21, 2006:
Yahoo! Sports says Troy Ellerman, a defense attorney who had worked for Victor Conte and James Valente, is under investigation in the FBI's probe of leaked grand jury evidence.

Dec. 23, 2006:
Prosecutors argue for a contempt-of-court sentence of up to 18 months for reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams.

Dec. 27, 2006:
Government investigators may keep evidence seized in 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules.

Jan. 11, 2007:
Reports emerge that Barry Bonds tested positive for amphetamines during the 2006 season.

Jan. 17, 2007:
U.S. attorney Kevin Ryan, who is resigning, tells USA TODAY that the BALCO probe will continue. "When I leave, this (investigation) won't just fall off the map. The infrastructure is in place. We have good prosecutors on it. A good review process. Good institutional knowledge. So when I move on, there are those that can carry forward with it without a problem."

Jan. 18, 2007:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., and Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., ask the Attorney General to drop his subpoena against reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams.

February 14, 2007:
Attorney Troy Ellerman admits in court papers that he allowed San Francisco Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada to view transcripts of the grand jury testimony of baseball stars Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and sprinter Tim Montgomery. Court documents say Ellerman agrees to plead guilty, thus sparing the reporters prison time.

February 15, 2007:
Colorado attorney Troy Ellerman pleads guilty to obstructing justice by leaking secret grand jury documents to two reporters. The federal prosecutor says the plea concludes the government's probe of the leaks and the subpoenas of San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams are withdrawn.

April 10, 2007:
A former San Francisco Giants trainer told the Associated Press he testified in February before the federal grand jury investigating steroid use in sports, a sign the probe of star slugger Barry Bonds was not derailed by the firing of the investigation's top prosecutor.

Nov. 15, 2007:
After a long period of silence, a federal grand jury indicts former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice, claiming that he lied when he told the grand jury that he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs.

Nov. 26, 2007:
Barry Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, and BALCO founder Victor Conte ask a federal judge for permission to keep court documents detailing drug use among elite athletes, including the Bonds' grand jury testimony. A judge had wanted the documents destroyed or returned. Anderson, Conte and two others involved in the BALCO case say they fear prosecution if the sealed documents are leaked again.






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