USA Today wrote:
Victor Conte, the man at the center of the BALCO scandal, was disappointed Congress never used him as a resource during its sports doping inquiries.
"You can't get the right answers if you don't ask the right questions," says Conte, "No one in Congress has done that yet. I would like to make a contribution."
After years of beating the system, Conte says he knows its flaws and how to plug loopholes. Regarding NFL and MLB management,
Conte says: "They're either completely uninformed about effective drug testing or are simply enabling the athletes to use drugs. Either way, it's bad."
"What amazes me is how the NFL pulled the wool over Congress' eyes and portrayed themselves as the model professional sport regarding anti-doping."
In August 2003, Conte talked by phone with NFL drug program adviser John Lombardo while in Paris for the World Track & Field Championships shortly before BALCO was raided.
Conte wanted to make sure an appetite suppressant he knew some NFL clients were using as a stimulant would be permissible. The substance was not on the NFL list of eight banned drugs, though it was on the World Anti-Doping Agency list of 42 prohibited stimulants.
Lombardo confirmed the NFL tested only for the listed eight stimulants.
"That meant it was open season for those 34 other stimulants, and the players had a green light," Conte says. "My opinion is stimulants have much greater adverse health effects than steroids."
The emphasis on the increased penalties for positive tests is misplaced,
Conte says. "If the overwhelming majority of players using drugs are not caught, what difference do penalties make?"
Conte contends it's easy for players to "duck and dodge" testers by using human growth hormone, for which there is no test; undetectable designer steroids; and oral-based testosterone, which clears the system in four days.
All sports, including the Olympics, need increased out-of-competition testing, says Conte, adding too many athletes evade offseason testing without penalty.
"If you don't have mandated, out-of-competition testing with penalties, it's not going to work," he says. "The offseason is when players use anabolic steroids in conjunction with effective weight training to build their explosive strength base for the season. It's all about offseason testing."
While in prison, Conte, who also must serve four months' house arrest, plans to write.
Sign me up for that book.