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Timeline of the steroids investigation

Timeline of the steroids investigation

Compiled by Joe Juliano


May 28 – Ken Caminiti, the National League Most Valuable Player in 1996, admits to Sports Illustrated that he used steroids during his playing days, including the year he won MVP.


Aug. 29 – Sprinter Kelli White fails a drug test at the IAAF World Championships, and later blames steroids distributed by Bay Area Laboratories Co-Operative (Balco).

Sept. 3 – The Internal Revenue Service and a federal narcotics task force raid Balco headquarters and the home of Greg Anderson, personal trainer for Barry Bonds.

Oct. 22 – Dwain Chambers, the British 100-meter champion, said he had tested positive for THG and blames nutritional supplements provided to him by Balco.


Feb. 12 – Balco president Victor Conte, vice president James Valente, trainer Greg Anderson, and track coach Remi Korchemmy are indicted on charges that they distributed anabolic steroids to prominent athletes in baseball, football, and track and field.

Feb. 23 – Barry Bonds tells reporters: "They can test me every day if they choose," and denies having used steroids.

March 2 – The San Francisco Chronicle reports that several athletes, including Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi and Bill Romanowski, received steroids from Balco.

March 17 – Major League Baseball bans the steroid THG; commissioner Bud Selig calls it "an important step toward reaching our goal of zero tolerance."

April 23 – Gold-medal-winning sprinter Marion Jones tells reporters at the Penn Relays she never has taken performance-enhancing drugs.

May 19 – Sprinter Kelli White accepts a two-year ban for steroid use and is stripped of every medal she's won since the end of 2000.

June 2 – U.S. doping officials meet with the lawyer for Tim Montgomery, the world-record holder in the 100 meters, showing evidence obtained from a federal grand jury; this comes one week after a report in the San Jose Mercury News that detailed a plan for Montgomery to break the 100-meter record with the help of steroids.

June 8 – The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency sends letters to Montgomery and fellow sprinters Chryste Gaines, Michelle Collins and Alvin Harrison, informing them of grand jury evidence.

June 16 – Jones admits to having taken a Balco-provided mineral supplement but continues to insist that she's clean.

June 24 – The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Montgomery told the grand jury he used HGH and "the Clear" and gave Bonds performance-enhancing drugs.

July 8 – C.J. Hunter, the ex-husband of Jones, tells the grand jury that Jones used steroids before, during and after the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Sept. 24 – Bonds is randomly tested for steroids by Major League Baseball.

Oct. 5 – Sports Illustrated reports that Sheffield told the grand jury he had inadvertently used steroids from Balco while training with Bonds two years before.

Nov. 19 – Conte says in court documents that the government fabricated claims that suggested he provided steroids to top athletes.

Dec. 2 – The San Francisco Chronicle said Giambi told the grand jury he had used steroids for three seasons.

Dec. 3 – The Chronicle said Bonds told the grand jury that he used "the Cream" and "the Clear," provided by his trainer, Anderson, but said that he didn't know they were steroids.

Dec. 7 – The board of the Major League Baseball Players Association instructs the union to work with Major League Baseball toward a stricter drug policy.

Dec. 15 – Jones files a $25 million defamation suit against Conte, who told 20-20 that he saw her inject herself with steroids.


Jan. 13 – Major League Baseball adopts a tougher steroid-testing program that sets penalties and allows for random testing year-round.

Feb. 14 – Juiced, written by former major-league slugger Jose Canseco, is released. He claims that he injected Mark McGwire with steroids and saw Giambi and Rafael Palmeiro use steroids.

March 17 – The House Committee on Government Reform begins hearings investigating steroids in baseball, calling McGwire, Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa, among others, to testify. At the end of the day, one committee member says, "I have not been reassured one bit by the testimony I have heard today."

July 15 – Conte pleads guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and money-laundering, reaching a deal with prosecutors that also involved co-defendants Anderson and Valente.

Aug. 1 – Palmeiro, who began his testimony at the congressional hearing by pointing at the panel and saying, "I have never used steroids, period," receives a 10-day suspension for violating the league's steroid policy, the first big-name player to be penalized.

Oct. 18 – Conte is sentenced to four months in prison, plus four months' home confinement.

Dec. 13 – Sprinter Tim Montgomery is suspended two years for doping, losing his medals and having his 100-meter world record wiped out. Gaines is also suspended. Neither tested positive but were cited by the USADA based on grand jury evidence.


Feb. 7 – Jones settles her defamation suit against Conte; the terms are not disclosed.

March 8 – Sports Illustrated runs an excerpt from Game of Shadows, a new book written by San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams that says Bonds used a vast array of performance-enhancing drugs for at least five seasons beginning in 1998.

March 11 – Selig reportedly arranged a meeting with Bonds to allow him to come clean if he had, indeed, used steroids. The report said Selig told Bonds that consequences would be "much worse" if he professed his innocence and he was later found to be a steroid user.

March 30 – Selig announces that former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell has been appointed to lead an investigation into steroid use in baseball; Conte is released from prison and said he never gave steroids to Bonds.

April 13 – CNN reports that the federal government might be pursuing a perjury case against Bonds.

April 18 – Major League Baseball suspends Arizona Diamondbacks minor-league pitcher Angel Rocha for 100 games because of a positive steroid test, the stiffest penalty ever meted out for steroid use.

April 25 – Anderson, Bonds' trainer, is subpoenaed in the perjury investigation of Bonds.

June 6 – Federal agents raid the Scottsdale, Ariz., home of major-league pitcher Jason Grimsley, who had cooperated in the steroids investigation but later withdrew his assistance.

June 9 – Major League Baseball investigators seek to interview Bonds and his ex-girlfriend but his lawyer balks, saying he fears that federal prosecutors could use the information against Bonds.

June 29 – Anderson refuses to testify before the grand jury investigating a perjury case against Bonds; he is held in contempt and jailed six days later.

July 13 – There is a report that Bonds could be indicted for perjury by the end of July.

July 29 – Sprinter Justin Gatlin, the world-record holder for 100 meters, acknowledged that USADA had informed him he tested positive for steroids in April; Gatlin's coach, Trevor Graham, is a key figure in the Balco investigation.

Aug. 15 – A federal judge tells Fainaru-Wada and Williams that they have to disclose who leaked them secret grand jury testimony in the Balco investigation.

Aug. 19 – The New York Times reports that Jones failed a drug test at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in June.

Sept. 21 – Fainaru-Wada and Williams are sentenced to a maximum of 18 months in prison for refusing to disclose their sources.

Nov. 2 – Graham was indicted on charges of hindering the grand jury perjury investigation.

Dec. 14 – Tammy Thomas, a former champion cyclist, is indicted on perjury charges in the Balco investigation.

Dec. 27 – A federal appeals court allows prosecutors to have access to the names and urine samples of about 100 baseball players who tested positive for steroids in 2003; the players' union vows to fight the decision.


Feb. 14 – A lawyer pleads guilty to being the source of grand jury testimony published in the San Francisco Chronicle, keeping Fainaru-Wada and Williams out of jail.

Feb. 28 – First reports are published on an investigation by prosecutors in Albany, N.Y., of an East Coast steroid-distribution network implicating Jose Canseco, former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, and current player Gary Matthews Jr.

May 16 – New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi tells USA Today that he was "wrong for doing that stuff" and that Major League Baseball should have apologized for its drug problems.

Sept. 28 – reports that championship boxer Shane Mosley used steroids as part of a doping regimen before his 2003 fight against Oscar De La Hoya.

Oct. 5 – In a tearful apology, Marion Jones admits using steroids as she pleads guilty in White Plains, N.Y., to lying about her use of performance-enhancing drugs; she later returns her Olympic medals.

Nov. 15 – A federal grand jury indicts Bonds on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.