Trial Set For Graham In BALCO Probe

Saturday, April 7th 2007, 5:46 pm
By: News On 6

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A trial date has been set in the case against Trevor Graham, the elite track coach who helped launch the government's probe of steroids in professional sports and later became a target for allegedly lying to federal agents.

Graham's trial is to begin Sept. 24 in San Francisco federal court, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled this week. A pretrial conference is set for Sept. 11.

Graham, who coached track stars Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin and Tim Montgomery, was indicted in November on three counts of making false statements to a government agency. He is accused of lying when he said he did not distribute steroids or tell his athletes where they could get them.

It was an odd turnabout because Graham helped launch the government's investigation three years earlier when he mailed a vial of a designer drug, called "the clear," to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Graham had been granted immunity for his cooperation in the ensuing investigation, but the agreement didn't protect him from prosecution for making false statements, prosecutors said. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

The investigation led authorities to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the now-defunct Burlingame-based supplement company that allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs to several star professional athletes, including baseball players Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield as well as sprinter Montgomery.