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US Athletic Stars Subpoenaed for Doping Scandal Investigation - 2003-10-20

New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants baseball stars Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds, and American sprint champion Kelli White, are among 40 athletes subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in the investigation of a company that prescribes nutritional supplements for elite athletes.

According to the report, BALCO Laboratories president Victor Conte said his top clients are being asked to testify about the so-called designer steroid, THG (tetrahydrogestrinone). The doping scandal erupted earlier this week when news broke that three track and field athletes who flunked drug tests had been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury that is investigating what one anti-doping official calls "an international doping conspiracy."

Officials with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency have said that earlier this year a coach sent them a used syringe containing the designer steroid, and said he got the substance from BALCO founder Victor Conte. Conte has denied he was the source of the substance. He says BALCO analyzes blood and urine samples from athletes, then prescribes supplements to compensate for deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.

Besides Bonds, Giambi and White, BALCO's clients include, NFL player Bill Romanowksi and Olympic track stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.