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BALCO owner Victor Conte, the man at the center of the government's investigation into the sale and distribution of illegal steroids, says that he was held at gunpoint and not read his rights when the IRS raided his office on Sept. 3, 2003, according to a motion that was filed in federal court Friday.
A source says the motion claims that IRS agents did not show Conte a search warrant until their eight-hour search was completed. Conte also claims he asked for an attorney 10 times and was denied each time during his interrogation. Further, Conte says IRS agents told him if he cooperated that day, he would avoid jail time.
The motion also claims that statements Conte made that day were used against him and the other three men who have been indicted -- BALCO vice president James Valente, track coach Remi Korchemny and Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds' personal trainer.
The source says the IRS investigators told Conte that he had been under investigation for 18 months. The IRS seized thousands of files and computer discs from BALCO headquarters in Burlingame, a suburb of San Francisco.
The raid led to a grand jury, which subpoenaed a host of sports stars, including Bonds, Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, track stars Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones, and boxer Sugar Shane Mosley.
Earlier this week, Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield told Sports Illustrated that he used a cream provided by BALCO that, he later learned, contained a designer steroid.
-- Shaun Assael, ESPN The Magazine