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Athlete claims Conte said, 'Everyone's taking it'

SAN FRANCISCO -- A former San Francisco Giants outfielder
and three others told a federal investigator they obtained
performance-enhancing drugs from two men charged in a doping
scandal involving a San Francisco Bay area laboratory, a newspaper
reported Saturday.

Armando Rios, now in the minor leagues, told the agent he
purchased a human growth hormone and testosterone from Greg
Anderson, trainer for Giants slugger Barry Bonds, according to an
investigator's memo obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Additional memos detailed claims by John McEwen, the
second-ranked U.S. hammer thrower in 2003, and San Francisco State
University sprint coaches Kenny McDaniel and LaKiesha Givens, the
newspaper reported.

The three allegedly told an IRS special agent they acquired
drugs from Victor Conte, owner of the Bay Area Laboratory
Co-Operative.

"Everyone is taking it," McDaniel claims Conte told him of a
drug called "rocket fuel," according to the memo.

None of the athletes has been charged with a crime. Rios and
McEwen were subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury that
investigated an alleged steroid ring involving BALCO. McEwen was
recently banned from competition for two years for testing positive
for a steroid.

One memo also included allegations about sprinter Tim
Montgomery, world record holder at 100 meters, who was charged with
steroid use and faces a lifetime ban if found guilty.

"Conte told McDaniel that the reason Tim Montgomery broke the
world record was because of the 'rocket fuel,' " the memo said.

Conte's attorney, Robert Holley, criticized leaks of
confidential information but declined to comment on the
allegations.

Anderson's lawyer, Anna Ling, rejected the memo's claims and
said the government was persecuting her client with "outrageous"
leaks to the news media.

Anderson, Conte and two others connected to the lab were
indicted in an alleged conspiracy to distribute illegal
performance-enhancing drugs to top athletes. They have pleaded not
guilty.

Both Rios' attorney, Chris Cannon, and McEwen's lawyer, Howard
Jacobs, would not comment on allegations contained in the memos,
the newspaper said.

McDaniel acknowledged speaking with the agent, but he declined
to discuss with the newspaper part of a memo describing Givens'
alleged use of "rocket fuel." Givens had previously aspired to
make the U.S. Olympic team as a sprinter, the newspaper reported.

He denied any student athletes he had coached obtained "rocket
fuel."

The newspaper could not immediately reach Givens for comment.