Track Coach Trevor Graham Convicted in BALCO Probe

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Track coach Trevor Graham was found guilty Thursday of one count of lying to federal investigators about his relationship to a steroids dealer.

Jurors could not reach a verdict on two other counts.

Graham, who coached former star sprinters Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery, is the second person from the BALCO doping scandal to be convicted at trial. Former elite cyclist Tammy Thomas was found guilty of lying to a federal grand jury when she denied taking steroids.

Graham was charged with three counts of lying to two IRS agents about his relationship with Angel "Memo" Heredia — a Laredo, Texas, discus thrower who bought performance-enhancing drugs in Mexico and sold them to many star track athletes.

In an interview in North Carolina in June 2004, Graham denied setting up his athletes with drugs obtained from Heredia, said he never met Heredia in person and that he last contacted Heredia by phone in about 1997.

The jurors convicted Graham on the charge relating to the phone calls, but a mistrial was declared on the other two. Prosecutors, who can retry Graham on those charges, had no comment on their next move.

Graham's attorney William Keane portrayed his client as "the original whistleblower in BALCO" who later was made a scapegoat. In 2003, Graham anonymously sent the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency a vial of "the clear," a then undetectable steroid.

Prosecutors countered that Graham only sent the vial because he was "diming out another drug dealer."

Investigators traced the vial back to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative and used that information to help determine the company was distributing performance-enhancing drugs to elite athletes.

The federal government steroids probe has ensnared a number of athletes, including home run king Barry Bonds. Investigators are also looking into whether pitcher Roger Clemens lied when he told Congress he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

Graham is the latest BALCO figure to be convicted. Others, including Jones and BALCO founder Victor Conte, have pleaded guilty to various charges of perjury, drug and money laundering charges.

Jones is serving a six-month prison sentence, and Montgomery recently was sentenced to four years after pleading guilty to writing bad checks. He also faces heroin distribution charges.