American Scandal

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Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the fallout and the outrage.

Scandals have shaped America since its founding. From business and politics to sports and society, we look on aghast as corruption, deceit and ambition bring down heroes and celebrities, politicians and moguls. And when the dust finally settles, we’re left to wonder: how did this happen? Where did they trip up, and who is to blame? From the creators of American History Tellers, Business Wars and Tides of History comes American Scandal, where we take you deep into the heart of America’s dark side to look at what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they’re caught. Hosted by Lindsay Graham.

BALCO: Gold Medals and Bad Blood  | 2

BALCO: Gold Medals and Bad Blood | 2

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 07:15

Track star Marion Jones gets caught in the middle of an Olympic steroid scandal and turns to Victor Conte for help. In baseball, Barry Bonds is fed up watching other players beat records and garner fame. He teams up with a trainer who sets him on a path that will have unexpected results.

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It's 10.30 pm on a cool Monday night in May of 2003. Car pulls up behind a strip mall a few miles from the San Francisco airport. Man and sweatpants and a hoodie roots through a dumpster. One thing that makes the job easier, he's so tall he doesn't have to climb inside. All that trash is within his reach. He tries to work quietly, but the bulging trash bags are awkward to handle. The man going through the dumpster isn't homeless. He lives two miles away, but he does this every Monday night. Welcome to the exciting world of being an agent with the IRS Criminal Investigations Unit. Tonight's assignment, dumpster diving. Our special agent, Jeff Novitsky, is his Monday night routine for over a year. Drive to the parking lot of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, otherwise known as BALCO. Snatch the trash bags out of the dumpster. Drive to the empty parking lot of a nearby office park and sort through it all. He knows that BALCO's owner, Viktor Conti, has been dealing with performance enhancing drugs, so of a lot of people. But he's not interested in bringing down some small time dealer. If he can bring down Conti, he'll also bring down some of the biggest names in sports when he needs hard evidence. So here he is on another Monday night going through the garbage. Novitsky rips open the bags and starts sifting through them. Empty bags, syringes, 100 count. Bill, electric, Bill, phone. Tonight's expedition yields the usual things, and just like he's done every week, he meticulously catalogs it. Sometimes he wonders what the hell he's doing. He's got a family and kids waiting for him to come home. And here he is in a parking lot, alone, elbow deep in garbage, dreaming of bringing down Viktor Conti and all the famous athletes he's supplying with steroids. It takes an hour for Novitsky to go through tonight's home. He keeps the items in interest and stuffs the rest back into the trash bag and throws it into the nearest dumpster. He's almost done when, whoa, in order for a laboratory, blood and urine tests. The kind used to detect steroids. He's found them before. Novitsky's got a pile of these forms. But the one he's holding in his hand tonight is different. The name on it? Barry Bonds. American scandal is sponsored by the new ABC drama Alaska Daily. When an indigenous woman goes missing in Alaska, it sparks new questions about other missing and murdered indigenous women. And that's where the thrilling new ABC drama Alaska Daily begins, and where it's headed, will have you on the edge of your seat. Two time Academy Award winner Hillary Swank stars as Eileen, a veteran reporter who joins a team of local journalists working to bring the truth to light. From Academy Award winning screenwriter Tom McCarthy, Alaska Daily premieres Thursday, October 6th on ABC, and streams next day on Hulu. If you're into true crime, the Generation Y podcast is essential listening. We started this podcast over 10 years ago to dissect some of the craziest and most notable murders, crimes, and conspiracy theories together, and we'd love for you to join us. Follow the Generation Y podcast on Amazon Music or wherever you listen to podcasts. I'm Wondry, I'm Lindsey Graham, and this is American Scandal. This is the second episode of our five part series on a scandal that rocked the sports world to the core. In our last episode, a self taught scientist named Victor Conti founded a supplement company called Balco, offering up specially designed programs to athletes trying to enhance their performance. And Barry Bonds has become the highest paid player in baseball. He's filthy rich. He's got talent. He's got determination. But he hasn't got steroids. Not Barry Bonds. Not yet. This is episode two, Gold Metals and Bad Blood. It's August, 1998, and Barry Bonds isn't happy. There are two names dominating baseball and neither of them is Barry Bonds. McGuire gets revenge. The Maceosa is for his first home. You can forgive him. He's so fun. It's a hot man on. Two whole problems. Seven. He's true to the man looking at it. He's got a strong heart. Sammy, it's a hard drive. Get out the take measure. Long go. One of the greatest rivalries in the history of baseball is playing out without him. Roger Maris's record of 61 home runs in a season has stood for 36 years. Now Sammy, Sosa and Mark McGuire are within swinging distance of breaking it. Bonds is fed up watching what he considers inferior players bask in the spotlight. He is convinced that McGuire is using steroids to help his performance. And he thinks McGuire's corn fed, all American looks earn him a pass that he, as a black man, would never be afforded. Even when Bonds hits a career milestone with 400 home runs and 400 bases stolen, it's barely news. The Marlins pitcher who threw the ball says, I had no idea. I guess it must have been a pretty big home run for him. And that about sums it up. As each week goes by, Bonds gets more and more angry. On September 8th, McGuire blows past Maris's record with home run number 62. Bonds isn't cheering. In October, sports illustrated makes Mark McGuire their cover story with a headline, What a Season! Bonds isn't subscribing. In January of 1999, McGuire's 70th home run baseball sells at auction for $3 million, the most ever paid for a sport tariff. Bonds has had enough. Bonds doubles down on his workouts, but he still isn't getting the results he wants. He wants to be bigger, stronger, faster, but he's hit a wall. Then he reconnects with a childhood friend from his little league days. Greg Anderson is a trainer at World Gym in Berlin game, just down the road from Balco. World Gym is known as a place where serious bodybuilders train. It's also known as a place where you can buy steroids, and Greg Anderson is the man to see. Bonds already has a team of trainers, the best of the best, but Bonds needs a little something more, and Greg Anderson has it. Anderson is a highly regarded trainer. In fact, he markets himself as the weight guru. Yes, he supplies bonds with steroids, but an athlete doesn't just pop a pill and bulk up. Performance enhancing drugs build muscle and speed recovery time, but the athlete still has to work out, so Anderson creates a customized routine for bonds. It's brutal. Extremely slow reps, heavy weights, 15 sets, several days a week. To a lesser athlete, it would be dangerous, maybe even lethal. But bonds is up to the challenge. He has a goal. He's going to prove he's a better player than McGuire, no matter what it takes. Even though there are only a few miles from each other, Victor, Conti, and Greg Anderson have never met. But they are both dealing performance enhancing drugs. Anderson gives bonds what Conti would consider old school steroids. He starts with a steroid wind straw, a favorite of bodybuilders for increasing strength. To build muscle mass and speed recovery, he gives them human growth hormone. There's a brisk black market for it in the Bay Area. It's given to people with AIDS to combat weight loss, but some patients are forced to sell it so they can pay their bills. One man's misery is another man's muscle. For bonds, taking the drugs means he can work out even harder, and the results are shocking. When he shows up for spring training in 1999, his teammates can't believe the transformation. He's put on at least 15 pounds of solid muscle. They start calling him the incredible Hulk and make jokes about gamma radiation transforming him. What they don't do is ask any questions. When it comes to using performance enhancing drugs, the ball club follows the same rules made famous by a movie that came out that same year. The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club. The second rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club. Bond's kicks ass and that's what matters. Greg Anderson now has him on Nandrelone and human growth hormone. In the 2000 season, he hits 49 home runs, a career high. The only player ahead of him is Sami Sosa, with 50. It's an astonishing performance for 36 year old. Most players at that age are sliding toward retirement. Bond's is ramping up to the best season of his career. The owner of the Giants is especially happy. He's a huge draw which fills the seats of the new and very expensive stadium. Scrumo Gwire. Now it's Bond who is setting attendance records. Bond's is treated like a king. He gets his own private area in the locker room and he's allowed to bring his trainers into the clubhouse which is unusual. But the Giants management does some checking. Finds out that World Gym is a place to get steroids. In Anderson, Bond's trainer is rumored to be the guy to get them from. So what do they do about it? They follow the first rule of Fight Club. Home runs are being hit. Rackards are being broken. Money is pouring in. Who wants to mess with that? Not the owners. Not the players. And not Barry Bond's. By the late 1990s, Victor Conte has been building his business for almost a decade. He has two product lines. He sells a legal nutritional supplement called ZMA that he promotes loudly at every opportunity. He also supplies athletes with illegal performance enhancing drugs. This he does quietly through word of mouth referrals. He dreams of being a household name. But despite his relentless self promotion and a couple of big name clients, most people in professional sports still haven't heard of him. But that changes on September 26th, 2000 at a news conference in Sydney, Australia. Olympic Games are in progress, gold medalist and world champion sprinter Marion Jones, the standing buyer man. As you all know, this has been very difficult to pass a couple of days for CJ and I. And I am here pretty much to show my complete support for my husband, aside from him being an athlete and me being an athlete. He's my husband and I'm here to show support for him. Jones husband, shot put her CJ hunter, was scheduled to compete in the Olympics. But now he's tested positive for a banned steroid called Nandrallon. As soon as she makes her statement, Jones bolts from the room. The record setting sprinter can't get out of there fast enough. Her husband tearfully denies the charges. As many of you know, those of you who know me, any one of you would say I may not be the most agreeable person. You know, I might be down right mean at times. But nobody on the planet can say that I don't love my wife. I don't love my kids. I have never in my life nor would I ever do anything to jeopardize their opinion of me. Even though his wife's left the room, Hunter's still in good company. Sitting with him is Johnny Cochran. Yes, the Johnny Cochran. He says he's appearing as a friend of the family and it turns out he's brought along an expert to refute the charges. That we do have at this point strongly indicates that CJ Hunter was not using the antibiotic steroid Nandrallon. The reporters in the room are all familiar with Marion Jones and CJ Hunter. And Johnny Cochran is famous around the world as OJ Simpson's defense lawyer and his iconic instructions to the jury if it doesn't fit, you must acquit. But there's something here that doesn't fit. This expert, no one knows who he is. The reporters start whispering to each other. How would an iron supplement get contaminated with steroids? Everyone needs to be educated regarding the possibility of many other athletes that are taking nutritional supplements like a common iron supplement that we have in fact how to be positive for an animal. The reporters are getting curious. This is a pretty tall tale. And this guy, an attritionist, they have to check their notes for his name. Victor Conti. Who the hell is Victor Conti? Who the hell is Victor Conti? The world is about to find out. What if your family was the victim of a home invasion? Or you woke up in the morgue? Or you were seriously injured miles from help? What would you do? This is actually happening. Ask our listeners this very question. While we bring you captivating real life stories of trauma and perseverance, this is actually happening brings listeners extraordinary true stories from the people who lived them. You'll hear stories about conflict, turmoil, or threats that dramatically alter the course of someone's life. Each episode is an exploration of the human spirit and how survivors manage to overcome hardship and move on with their lives, even thriving afterward. One new season of this is actually happening is available ad free only with Wondry Plus. And if this new season isn't enough, you can listen to more than 120 exclusive episodes available only to Wondry Plus subscribers. Join Wondry Plus on Apple Podcasts or on the Wondry app. Like your Conti loves the spotlight, he always has. Now the cameras are on him and he's sharing the stage with the Olympic athletes and one of the most famous lawyers in the world. He's a college dropout, a self taught scientist. Who could have imagined? Well, Victor Conti, that's who. He's always been his biggest fan. Now, Marion Jones owes him. Not that Jones is focused on what she owes to Victor Conti. Back at the hotel, she's focusing on the fact that she's still got two more races to run and a long jump event. And there's no way she's going to let some negative press over her husband and steroids hold her back. Marion felt her destiny when the Olympics came to her hometown of Los Angeles. She saw the female track athletes compete and decided then and there, she'd be one of them. She was eight years old. At age 12, she was competing internationally. Five years later, she was the fastest female high school sprinter in America. She was also a star basketball player and attended the University of North Carolina on a basketball scholarship where she led her team to the national championship. To say Marion Jones is an overachiever, is an understatement. At college, she started dating her track coach, a hulking shot put her name CJ Hunter. He encouraged her ambitions and by 1996, they were engaged. CJ guided her career. He got her an agent and endorsement deals. He also introduced her to one of the top coaches in the country Trevor Graham. Graham was on the Jamaican Olympic team and won a silver medal in Seoul. Now he runs an elite track club in North Carolina where he coaches top athletes. His coaching includes providing them with performance enhancing drugs. When some of them test positive, Graham's excuses aren't exactly convincing, like insisting an athlete took a hard fall and the jolt released an extra spurt of testosterone. But with Graham coaching her, Jones is soon winning every race she enters. By the time the Olympics are over, she set records in the 100 and 200 meter sprints in one three gold and two bronze medals. The press gives her the title, Fastest Woman in the World, and she goes on to earn $7 million in endorsement deals. Talent, hard work, and steroids have paid off for Marion Jones. Graham also coaches Tim Montgomery. At five foot ten, he's short for a sprinter, which earns him the nickname Tiny Tim. He comes to Graham with a simple but audacious goal to be the fastest man in the world. Graham tells him he needs more power and steroids will help. But by the year 2000, he's still not powerful enough. He fails to qualify for the Olympics in the 100 meters. That was supposed to be his best race, the one that would land him on the highest podium with a gold medal around his neck. So he's desperate to up his game. When a fellow athlete tells him about Balco, Tim's intrigued, but he's also cautious. When he finally gets up the courage to call Victor Conti, he has coach Graham listen in. Conti lays out what he can do for Tim. Not only is he an expert in performance enhancing drugs, he knows more about making them undetectable than anyone out there. He'll create a customized program that will unlock Tim's natural potential and make him the world champion he's meant to be. Conti is a smooth talker and supremely confident. When Conti invites him to come to California for the full Balco treatment, Tim quickly agrees to go. Just minutes after they hang up, Conti's phone rings again. It's coach Graham. He tells Conti he was listening in on the call and he liked what he heard. He makes a tathlizing offer. He says, Tiny Tim Montgomery is a small fish. He's got a bigger client for Conti to work with, Marion Jones, and Conti is thrilled. But Conti is facing a conflict of interest because he is already supplying steroids and other drugs to Marion's main competitor, Christie Gaines. But where most folks see conflict, Conti sees opportunity. He makes a deal with Gaines to give her a cut of the profits he makes selling drugs to Jones. He may lose a little income, but he gets another champion in a stable and that's what really matters. He's on his way to becoming a household name. For Victor Conti, 1999 is looking to be a very good year. His client list is now a who's who of professional athletes and Olympians. Visions of gold medals dance in his head as he designs a customized doping program for track superstar Marion Jones. Clearly, Conti has gone beyond selling ZMA, his dubious zinc magnesium supplement. In fact, one of his signature products is an undetected, well steroid called the clear. But where is Conti getting his drugs? His years of study at the Stanford Medical Library have given him an impressive understanding of performance enhancing drugs. But he's no Walther White. He doesn't have the skills or equipment to cook up a batch in his kitchen. So for that, he turns to Patrick Arnold. Today the media is fond of referring to Patrick Arnold as a rogue chemist. Like Victor Conti, he's a guy who followed his interest, which led him down a path less traveled, but a lucrative one. Patrick Arnold is best known as a popularizer of Andrastine Dio, aka Andrew. After graduating with a chemistry degree, he becomes interested in bodybuilding and the supplements industry. He opens his own lab where he synthesizes his own compounds, and this is unusual. Most supplements come from China or Europe. It's hard to know what's really in them and the quality is inconsistent. Arnold makes everything himself, guaranteeing a pure product. He becomes the go to guy for serious bodybuilders. Like Conti, he scours scientific literature, hoping to find new or old substances that can increase athletic performance. He discovers Andrew by studying East German patent documents. The East German is used during their infamous doping program in the 70s and 80s. But by now, it's been largely forgotten. Like is Andrew a reboot. Andrew is actually legal at the time, though it's banned in the Olympics and the NFL. It's not banned in baseball. That loophole snags Arnold, his highest professional customer, Mark McGuire. McGuire tries to keep his Andrew use on the down low, but when a reporter sees a vile of it in his locker, he grudgingly comes clean. Sales of Andrew's spike, but fans are angry. At the reporter who leaked the story. The commissioner of baseball is shocked, shocked, to learn that a top player is using a substance that would get him banned if he were in the NFL. He takes immediate action by commissioning a study about the health effects of Andrew. The fear that Andrew might become illegal makes sales skyrocket, which is good for Patrick Arnold, but Arnold's always looking for new and better drugs. He keeps studying, mining old documents. Finally, he strikes gold with a textbook from the 1960s. It contains formulas for steroids that were tested, but never marketed. One in particular looks promising for athletes. It was developed to treat children with growth problems, but early testing revealed it might be toxic, so it was never brought to market. But Arnold begins manufacturing it in his lab. It's called Norbal Ethnum. It's inevitable that Arnold and Conti will cross paths, and equally inevitable that it'll be a clash of egos. They first meet on a message board for bodybuilders. In March 1999, Conti is in the office late one night, posting, promoting himself, and sparring with the other users on the boards. Someone asks what the hell's ZMA is. Conti replies, a novel sink and magnesium formulation increases anabolic hormones and strength in athletes. But the users aren't impressed. Die, you piece of shit, balko, spammer, one types. Through the posters on this message board, vitro Conti is that guy, the one who constantly spams, taking every opportunity to hype himself and sell his products. They poke holes in his research, and belittle ZMA as a rip off. But the more they attack him, the more Conti digs in, keeping the debate raging and making himself the center of attention. Conti types back. I have 17 scientific publications to my credit. My clients include the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos and 25 of the top pro bodybuilders in the world. But when Patrick Arnold joins the debate online, he isn't impressed by Conti, shut up. He types, you sell a fucking mineral supplement. Conti quips back, dear Patrick, you are a full of shit regarding ZMA. The two continue cyber sparring for months. But suddenly, their messages get nicer. In one, Arnold types, Conti is asking valid questions. Don't reduce this shit to emotions just because you got a preestablished prejudice about the guy. Conti quickly jumps in. I appreciate your honesty and value your feedback and comments, Patrick. It's clear to the regular posters that things have changed. But what they don't know is this. Conti and Arnold have started doing business together. And their most important project will be Marion Jones. He's giving his clients a sophisticated cocktail of drugs. He calls one of them the clear because it's undetectable in drug tests. He calls another the cream. Low testosterone levels are an indication of steroid use. Rubbing the cream on an athlete's skin brings the levels back to normal. Then there's Modaphanil. It was developed to treat narcolepsy, but athletes use it as a powerful stimulant to focus and maintain their edge. It's not just Conti's drugs. It's his ability to subvert drug testing that sets Conti apart from run of the mill steroid dealers. The Olympics have the toughest drug testing program in sports. Athletes are required to submit to tests anywhere, anytime. Officials can show up unannounced at a hotel or the athlete's home. And not just during competition. They can be tested during training too. But Conti is one step ahead. He can use his ICP spectrometer to check his client's blood, urine, and hair for any towel tail sign of drug use. But he always double checks by sending samples to an outside lab. Not that the lab could ever detect the clear. It was never marketed, so testers don't even know how to check for it. It's undetectable because it's completely unknown. But it won't stay undetectable forever. When it's finally discovered, it will set off one of the biggest scandals in the history of sports. By 2000, Conti schemes to give his athlete's performance enhancing drugs in exchange for promoting ZMA is finally paying off. Bacco is making a profit. Athletes wear his T shirts in blazing with a big ZMA logo across their superhuman chests. Amateur athletes want the same results, so they buy ZMA, which is a legal supplement. He's even got a study by a professor of nutrition showing that ZMA works. Never mind that he secretly funded the study, and the scientific coinvestigator listed on the study is Bacco's vice president. Victor Conti is ready for the big time, and there's nothing bigger than the Olympics. Though she will deny it till the bitter end, at the time of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Marion Jones is a Bacco client. While she trains, Conti provides her insulin, human growth hormone, EPO, the cream, and the clear. But he does it under conditions worthy of a spy movie. She doesn't bring the drugs to Sydney herself. Her coach, Trevor Graham, carries them through customs in his bags. He hides the clear inside a container of flaxseed oil. After injecting herself with steroids, Jones flushes the syringes down the toilet. The clocan dagger is nerve wracking for her, and the drugs make her normally flawless skin break out an acne, and she covers it up with makeup. She hopes it's all worth it. Two days before the opening ceremonies, Conti overnight to urine sample to Quest Laboratories in San Diego, the same testing facility used by the Olympics. The sample is from Jones, but he puts a fake name on it. It's his standard procedure, do a preliminary test to make sure his clients will pass the official test. The science and spycraft pay off. Jones wins five medals including three golds. She passes all the drug tests and is crowned the world's fastest woman. Her celebration is dampened though by her husband's positive drug test, but she insists she had no idea he was using band drugs. In fact, no one was supposed to know. When he tested positive, Olympic officials offered to keep silent if he'd fake an injury and withdraw. He complied, saying he heard his knee, but someone leaked the test results and he had to come clean. At this point, Balco and Victor Conti aren't on the radar of IRS agent Jeff Novitsky. That will take another couple of years. But unlike his steroids, Conti's work hasn't gone completely undetected. He has a close call when Colorado authorities investigate his client, Broncos Lienbacher, Bill Romo Romanowski, for prescription drug fraud. When she is interviewed, Romo's wife tells the investigators that her husband gets growth hormone from Balco. But for some reason, they don't follow up. In November of 2000, six weeks after the closing of the Olympics, Conti decides to break another record. He's going to create the fastest man in the world. He convenes a steroid summit at Balco. He invites Charlie Francis, the Canadian coach responsible for the steroid scandal at the 88 Olympics, the bodybuilder Milos the Mind Sarssev, who is a very experienced steroid user and coach Trevor Graham. As they break bread together, Conti invites them to join Project World Record. Their subject will be Tiny Tim Montgomery. You really think Tim can break the world record, Victor? Well, you should know you're his coach. Frankly, that's part of the problem. A big part. You've got him overjuiced. Look, this is the beauty of the collaboration. To focus on the coaching, the rest of us focus on the science, and together we make history. Really Victor, you have such a flair for drama. You belong on the stage. I spent plenty of time on stages, Trevor. I know what it's like to have crowd screaming my name. Victor, if nothing else, this lunch is highly amusing. What? I was a bass player for Tower of Power. The soul man? You're lying. Nah man, look it up. You don't need to look it up. Richard Conti really was the bass player for Tower of Power. He was self taught and very good. He loves to tell the story of his audition for the group. They'd heard nine other bass players, but none of them were right, then Victor walked in. Midway through his first song, they stopped him and said, we've heard enough, you're our man. But the story isn't true. He got the audition because his cousin was in the band, and he was fired a year later when they felt like he was trying to take the band over. For most people, playing with a legendary band like Tower of Power would be enough, especially for a kid from Fresno with no formal music training. But that wasn't enough for Victor. He had to be the best of the best, like no one they'd ever heard. Call it Umbrightal Ambition. Misplace confidence, or a hole in his soul. The fact is, Victor Conti thinks big, and at the center of all Victor Conti's big ideas is Victor Conti. Now he's come up with his biggest idea ever, like Victor Frankenstein. Victor Conti is going to make a man. Rather, he's going to make the fastest man in the world. Conti savers the moment, looking at each man in the eye and asking, are you in and one by one? They nod. They don't know it yet, but they've just made a devil's bargain. No balls, one strike, nobody out, ninth inning, a nine two giant leaps, the one one. There it goes. There it goes. Park the Goyer. As a co order of the home run throw number seventy per bond. For very bonds, steroids are a game changer, literally. Since he started working with Greg Anderson, he's been transformed. He's caught up to Kinseko, Sosa, and finally McGuire. By 2001, he sets the single season home run record and seems to have a permanent Andourage of sports media trailing him. Here's the payoff, a floated bonds, and he hits it high. He hits it deep, and it is up here. Number seventy three. On the last day of the season, he hits his seventy third home run, shattering McGuire's 1998 record. He giants treat him like a king, and they pay him a king's ransom, ninety million dollars for five years. If the rest of his teammates don't like it, that's their problem. What's behind bond success? The real question isn't what, it's who. And the answer is of course, Victor Conti. They meet at the end of the 2000 season when Greg Anderson decides to track down this Balco guy he's been hearing so much about. After all, they're down the road from each other. It might make sense to work together. Conti is committed to helping bonds break the home run record. And the more he learns about Balco, the more convinced he becomes that Conti holds the key. He has heard athletes refer to the clear as rocket fuel and the magic potion. Maybe Barry Bonds could benefit from a little magic. For Conti, to win win. If Greg Anderson can deliver Barry Bonds, it will be the highest profile client ever. He imagines seeing the greatest baseball player of the modern era in a ZMA cap. A few days later, the three of them meet. If Conti is nervous, he doesn't show it. He holds forth on the science of doping, how his spectrometer detects mineral deficiencies, and the spectacular gains his clients have made. Bonds is impressed. Conti seems like the real deal and in fact, he is. There are few people who know more about performance enhancing drugs than Conti. Not just how they work, but how to keep them from being detected. Conti sells himself as the expert and Bonds buys it. Conti is elated. Very soon after, Conti writes on an internet message board, Barry is a big fan of ZMA. Conti works with Anderson and they refine Bonds doping schedule. Anderson personally injects Bonds with human growth hormone. Bonds takes the clear by placing drops under his tongue. Conti puts him on a prescription drug called Clomit that will restore testosterone levels at the end of the steroid cycle. Dr. Conti is riding high. He puts big pictures of himself with bonds in the Boko office. He brags to anyone who will listen about his client roster and his expertise. It looks like the sky's the limit. But he's about to get stabbed in the back. And not with a knife. The weapon of choice will be a syringe. From Wondry, this is episode two of six of Boko for American scandal. On the next episode, an act of vengeance turns into a race against time. As some of the best scientists in the world struggle to catch up to the college dropout from Fresno. Will Victor Conti bring it on attitude? Bring him down. If you'd like to learn more about doping and sports and Balco, we recommend the book Game of Shadows, Barry Bonds, Balco, and the steroid scandal that rocked professional sports by Mark Fennaro Wada and Lance Williams. This episode contains reenactments and dramatized details. And while in most cases we can't know exactly what was said, all our dramatizations are based on historical research. American scandalous hosted, edited, executive produced, and sound designed by me Lindsey Graham for airship. This episode is written by Steve Chivers. Our consultants are Mark Fennaro Wada and Lance Williams. The producers are Stephanie Jenns, Marsha Louis, and her nonlopest for wandering.