Alleged 'clear' supplier indicted in BALCO case

SAN FRANCISCO -- An Illinois chemist was indicted for
allegedly supplying BALCO with the performance-enhancing drug known as "the clear."

A federal grand jury accused Patrick Arnold of conspiring with Bay Area Laboratory-Cooperative founder Victor Conte to illegally distribute the once-undetectable substance tetrahydragestrinone.

Arnold was charged Thursday with three counts of illegally
distributing performance-enhancing drugs. His attorneys say Arnold
is innocent.

"Patrick Arnold is a respected chemist and researcher in the
field of nutritional supplements," attorneys Nanci Clarence and
Rick Collins said in a statement. "He is not guilty and will
defend these charges vigorously in a court of law, not in the
press. He looks forward to his day in court."

No court appearance has been set, and Arnold has not been taken
into custody.

U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan said the indictments mean the
government has "taken another important step in the ongoing effort
to eliminate the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in

The indictment of Arnold, 39, comes as prosecutors are taking
aim at the alleged suppliers of BALCO. The lab, according to court
records, counted dozens of prominent athletes among its clients,
including Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Olympic track and field
star Marion Jones.

Two months ago, authorities raided Arnold's laboratory in
Champaign, Ill., and Arnold's name had surfaced in several court
documents in the BALCO scheme.

Arnold was known for introducing the
steroid precursor androstenedione to the United States. Nicknamed
andro, the chemical came to public attention in 1998 when St. Louis
Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire said he used it when breaking
baseball's single-season home run record.

The indictment said Arnold trafficked in performance-enhancing drugs designed to avoid detection by sporting leagues, including
the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Major League Baseball and the National
Football League.

Conte and Bonds' personal trainer were sentenced to prison time
last month for their roles in the BALCO scheme.

Conte, who masterminded the plan, was sentenced to four months
in prison and four months of home confinement after negotiating a
plea deal with federal prosecutors. Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal
trainer, was sentenced to three months behind bars and three months
in home confinement after pleading guilty to money laundering and a
steroid distribution charge. Anderson and Bonds have been friends
since childhood.

BALCO vice president James Valente was sentenced to three years of probation and track coach Remi Korchemny is expected to receive
probation at his February sentencing.

According to the indictment, Conte sent e-mails in August 2002
to a Greek track coach urging his athletes to discontinue using the
clear because Olympic officials had detected it.

In an earlier June 2001 e-mail released in court documents
Thursday, Arnold wrote to a Texas pharmacist that "the designer
stuff is very secret and very potent. It is currently being used by
several high profile athletes, some of which are having phenomenal
success in their sports right now."

Arnold is also accused of distributing the performance enhancing
drugs Madol and Norbolethone. Norbolethone was first detected in
Olympic cyclist Tammy Thomas' urine by Olympic officials in 2002,
according to court documents.

The government says when Thomas' blood was detected, Arnold
e-mailed Conte asking him to inform users of Norbolethone to
discontinue using it.

"If you know anyone who is taking the stuff who is subject to
testing then tell them to stop," according to the e-mail lodged in
court documents.

The case is United States v. Arnold, 05-00703.