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Track Coach Pleads Not Guilty in BALCO Steroids Case


Elite athletics coach Trevor Graham - the former coach of several top U.S. sprinters - has pleaded not guilty to lying to U.S. government investigators looking into the BALCO steroid case.

Graham - who coached 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin, former world record holder Tim Montgomery and 2000 Olympic champion Marion Jones - faces three counts of making false statements to Internal Revenue Service agents.

Graham is charged with lying to the IRS investigators by saying he never provided any of his athletes with performance-enhancing drugs. He was freed on $25,000 bond. If convicted, Graham faces up to 15 years in prison.

Ironically, Graham was the one who mailed a vial containing a previously undetectable steroid to a laboratory in California. The move touched off the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative scandal involving several top sprinters, professional baseball and football players, and other athletes.

Five men have been convicted in connection with the scandal. The U.S. Olympic Committee also banned Graham from its facilities and several of his sprinters have been suspended for drug use.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.