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THE FLIES DONT EVEN WANT TO LAND ON YOU

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Some of Trevor Graham’s former athletes, including Marion Jones, former 100m world record holder Tim Montgomery and former world sprint champion Michelle Collins, were found to have used banned drugs, 


But Graham insists he has played no role for their drug use or the use of drugs by any of his athletes. He says Jones got her drugs on her own, despite her claim that Graham gave them to her in flaxseed oil. BALCO founder Victor Conte claims he gave drugs to Montgomery and an arbitration panel ruled that Michelle Collins, who ran for Graham from 1997 to 2001, got her drugs from Conte. 

Graham claims Conte tried to connect Graham to doping his athletes a little more than a year before Graham’s most recent star Justin Gatlin became an Olympic champion. A letter dated June 5, 2003 addressed to testing personnel at the IAAF, the world governing body for track and field, and USADA accuses Graham of purchasing “testosterone (sic) undeconote” from Mexico for his athletes. The letter outlines how Graham used the substance, which it states “clears the body” and will “be undetectable in urine in less than a week after discontinuing use.” 

It suggests testing Americans Gatlin, sprinter Latasha Richardson, and 2000 Sydney Olympics 4x400 meter relay gold medalist Calvin Harrison; and 2000 Sydney Olympics 4x100 meter relay gold medalist Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas. Harrison, who was coached by Graham for about a year in 2002-03, tested positive for the stimulant modafinil in June 2003. Richardson and Sturrup have not been linked to drug use. 

The letter, which Graham says was written by Conte, was found by federal investigators at the BALCO headquarters, which Conte founded and owned.

When asked why Conte would wrote the letter, he replied, “Because I was kickin’ his ass with my athletes. I was beating them. That statement started the whole thing. After these letters, USADA would show up and drug test the s--- out of us. Everyone on our team, starting in ’04 and in ’05.”

 

Attempts to reach Conte were unsuccessful.

At the time, Conte was helping run the ZMA Track Club, which he had formed with coach Remi Korchemny, the former coach for 1972 Olympic 100 meter and 200 meter gold medalist Valeri Borzov of Russia. 

Conte was sentenced to four months in prison and four months house arrest for steroid distribution and money laundering. Korchemny was sentenced to a year of probation for distributing the banned substance modafinil.

Graham says that five of his former athletes--Olympians Antonio Pettigrew, Dennis Mitchell, Duane Ross, and Jerome Young, as well as Garfield Ellenwood—all lied during testimony in his federal trial for perjury when they said he provided all of them with contact information about admitted steroid dealer Angel Heredia. 

“They didn’t need me to do that,” Graham said. “They already had his number and a way to contact him.” 

Graham was asked why the athletes would lie under oath. “To get back at me,” he said. “After I turned in the syringe, I [upset] a lot of people.”

Graham said prosecutors wanted him to plead his case rather than go to trial and expose the athletes, but he refused. “I didn’t care,” said Graham, his voice raising a couple of pitches. “I didn’t give a damn if I got 20 years. I wanted them to all go up there and say it.”

Universal Sports obtained documents that question the credibility of Ross, a 2004 Olympian and a bronze medalist at the 1999 world championships in the 110m hurdles. In emails sent by someone whose address includes “RDross” to another person whose email address includes “getready”, the person writes, “As far as the growth factors...I’m taking .7 right now...As far as the testo...I want whatever is best. Also, don’t forget the clear test.” 

In another email, RDRoss writes, “Anything yet on the Androsten?? Let me know. Regarding the GH....Go ahead and get me about six or seven more bottles.” In another, the person writes, “I’ve only seen [Trevor] about twice since nationals....But don’t worry. You know I wouldn’t mention anything to him about what we do.”

Another email dated July 9, 2002 refers to a 13.20 time the runner ran “yesterday...got second.” Ross finished second in 13.20 at a Grand Prix meet in Zagreb, Croatia on July 8, 2002. 

Reached by phone, Ross refused to discuss the emails. “I didn’t have anything to do with that,” he said, before abruptly ending the call. 

During an interview in his home in March, Graham proudly showed a confidentiality information agreement signed by Gatlin in November 2004, the year his athletes at the Sprint Capitol Track Club first signed the form. One line under the Code of Conduct section read: I will do my part of keeping Sprint Capitol a Drug Free Environment.”

Graham says other athletes who have signed the agreement include Shawn Crawford, Me Lisa Barber, Dwight Thomas, Latasha Jenkins, and Chandra Stirrup. Jenkins and Gatlin later tested positive for drugs, and Jenkins’ test was ruled invalid on appeal. 

Randall Evans, a former world-class sprinter under Graham and later his assistant coach from 2003 until 2006, says he told FBI agents and a grand jury investigating Graham that Graham never gave his athletes drugs or arranged for his athletes to receive drugs. 

“We always talked about staying away from drugs,” he said during a phone call in his first public comments about Gatlin and Graham since Gatlin tested positive. “A lot of our runners thought we were [irritating] because we were so hard on them. But we weren’t drug dealers.”

Evans, then a runner coached by Graham, said he arranged for the first meeting between Graham and Heredia in Texas that contributed to the federal charges against Graham. Sprint Capitol was looking for a warmer place than Raleigh, N.C. and to train in December 1996. 

Evans says he got to know Heredia when he and Graham tried to help recruit him to attend St. Augustine’s College as a shot putter. Graham and Evans competed at the school. 

“We didn’t know Angel was involved in [drugs] then,” Evans said. “None of that was discussed there. We went there to train. We didn’t come there to purchase any drugs or anything like that.”

Graham was found guilty in federal court last year for lying to federal agents about contacts he made to Heredia and is serving five year’s probation that includes one year of conditional house arrest. 

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