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Last Updated: Monday, 16 February, 2004, 13:13 GMT
Greece linked to doping web
Balco founder Victor Conte
Conte pleaded not guilty to drug charges at a hearing last week
US athorities have obtained a document implicating some Greek athletes in the drugs scandal enveloping athletics.

In the email, Victor Conte - one of four men accused of running a doping ring - urges an unnamed colleague to warn a Greek coach that authorities had developed tests for a drug he supplied.

Details of the email were in a 31-page indictment made public last Thursday by American law enforcement officials.

Officials in Greece, which hosts the 2004 Olympics, have yet to comment.

The documents show the apparent extent of an international ring distributing performance-enhancing drugs at which Conte's laboratory is alleged to be at the heart.

Conte is the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (Balco), which has been identified by the United States Anti-Doping Agency as the source of designer steroid THG.

You are going to run very fast on Friday!
Victor Conte in an email to an unnamed athlete

Britain's Dwain Chambers is the most high-profile athlete to date to test positive for THG since the scandal broke last summer.

Included in the indictment was a copy of the 52-page affidavit submitted last year by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in support of a request for search warrants for the Balco headquarters and Conte's San Francisco home.

The document contains evidence gathered during a year-long stakeout of the laboratory and monitoring of Conte's email communications.

The finds among rubbish left outside the Balco laboratory included containers for Serostin (a human growth hormone), Oxandrin (an anabolic steroid) and Epogen (a form of the endurance-boosting drug EPO) among others, all banned in athletics.

In the email made public by the the authorities, Conte warns about the newly-developed test, although the names of the Greek athletes have been removed by officials.

"We might also want to somehow get this information to the coach for the Greek athletes (name deleted) and (name deleted) so that nobody tests positive," wrote Conte.

Further emails suggest that some athletes and coaches contacted Balco for advice on how to avoid detection.

In one Conte offers advice to a customer, allegedly a female 400m runner, warning her not to mix a steroid cream she was using with a testosterone gel because it will result in a positive test.

Kederis protest

"You are going to run very fast on Friday!" he adds.

Conte is one of the four men indicted by a federal grand jury in America last week after being charged with offences relating to supplying performance-enhancing drugs.

Chambers' former coach Remi Korchemny was charged along with Conte, coach Greg Anderson and Balco vice-president Jim Valente.

Chambers has been banned for two years after testing positive for THG.

The revelations about the link to Greek athletes are certain to cause concern to authorities in Greece with the Athens Olympics just six months away.

Last year, the Greece team issued a statement in protest at allegations about Olympic 200m gold medallist Kostadinos Kederis, following his withdrawal from the Paris World Championship.

No charges were brought against Kederis.




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