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Thursday, December 11, 2003
Updated: December 12, 3:13 AM ET
Probe of supplements lab continues

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Baseball slugger Gary Sheffield gave a thumbs-up sign. Boxer Shane Mosley flashed a smile. Brothers Jason and Jeremy Giambi left together. Oakland Raiders teammates Barret Robbins and Bill Romanowski left in silence.

All seemed relieved to be done Thursday after appearing before the grand jury probing the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which supplied nutritional supplements and is accused of providing steroids to top sports stars.

It was the busiest day, and the longest at about 10 hours, since the federal grand jurors started hearing testimony from athletes in late October.

"It went good," Jason Giambi said as the brothers left the grand jury room, accompanied by agent Arn Tellem. "I can't really talk about it."

Jason Giambi plays for the Yankees. Jeremy Giambi played for the Boston Red Sox last season and is now a free agent.

Sheffield, who is in the process of trying to work out a free agent contract with the New York Yankees, said his appearance went "all right" and flashed a thumbs-up sign as he entered an elevator near the grand jury room.

Mosley's attorney, Judd Burstein, said the boxer testified "because the government wanted some information from him, and he was happy to provide it."

Federal investigators had asked for a sample of Mosley's urine taken after his Sept. 13 win over Oscar De La Hoya, a fight that took place in Las Vegas.

But Nevada deputy attorney general Keith Kizer said in October that the sample already had been discarded by the lab.

Burstein said in October that Mosley passed all drug and steroid tests performed after that fight. Burstein also said at that time that Mosley had used nutritional supplements from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

Romanowski and Robbins were among four Raiders notified by the NFL last month that they failed tests for THG, a source close to the investigation has told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The steroid was undetectable in drug tests until this summer.

Robbins, who has been diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder and alcoholism, disappeared from the team on the eve of the Raiders' 48-21 loss to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl last season.

Neither Romanowski nor Robbins commented after his grand jury appearance. Romanowski also did not comment when asked whether he had used steroids, or whether he had used THG.

Athletes from five sports -- football, baseball, swimming, boxing, and track and field -- have appeared before the grand jury. The group includes baseball's Barry Bonds; track star Marion Jones and her boyfriend, 100-meter world record-holder Tim Montgomery; seven NFL players, and Olympic champion swimmer Amy Van Dyken.

An appearance before the grand jury, or being subpoenaed to testify, does not mean an athlete is a target of the investigation, which is focusing on possible drug and tax violations by the BALCO.

The lab also has been accused of supplying athletes with THG.

The only two people identified so far as targets of the federal grand jury are BALCO founder Victor Conte and Greg Anderson, a personal trainer for Bonds and other athletes.