The upcoming intense presidential election is one of the reasons why Victor Conte’s book is not telling anything until 2009. Another intervention is Shane Mosley’s legal offensive against the former BALCO chief.

From the New York Daily News:

Nasty legal warfare has broken out over Victor Conte’s forthcoming tell-all book about his leading role in the world’s biggest steroid conspiracy.

Skyhorse Publishing originally hoped to release “BALCO: The Straight Dope on Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and What We Can Do To Save Sports” in September, but Conte’s book may not hit shelves until 2009, said Skyhorse president Tony Lyons.

Conte has submitted the manuscript, but the imminent presidential election and other intervening factors have led Skyhorse to reconsider the timing of the book’s release.

Among the factors is an expensive barrage of defamation litigation launched against Conte by boxer Shane Mosley, one of the athletes whose BALCO doping regimens Conte promises to describe in detail, and Mosley’s threats to sue the book’s publisher.

Conte admits that Mosley’s defamation suits are a “distraction”. According to Conte, he has devoted anecdotal reports on Mosley regarding the boxer’s used of performance-enhancing drugs in Straight Dope. Conte says that Mosley knew “exactly and precisely what he was doing” and had used both “the cream” and “the clear”, both designer drugs then. Mosley, however, claims that he thought the products he was supplied with by BALCO were legal.

Mosley is represented by the notorious New York attorney Judd Burstein.

The most recent of Burstein’s actions against Conte is a motion filed Wednesday asking a U.S. District Court in California to sanction Conte’s defense attorney for submitting what Burstein called an “outrageous and entirely frivolous” motion to recover $75,654 in attorney fees from a defamation suit that Burstein initiated and withdrew.

Burstein showed the Daily News an Aug. 14 e-mail from Lyons in which the publisher  the idea of canceling Conte’s publicity tour and giving Mosley two or three pages in the book to “explain his side of the story.”

This is NOT a firm offer,” Lyons wrote.

Burstein rejected Lyons’ overtures. He has promised to sue Skyhorse and its insurers.

In early August, Mosley’s camp filed a $12 million defamation suit in a New York state court while pulling out a similar complaint in a federal court in San Francisco.

Conte’s attorney, James Wagstaffe, had argued that federal claim violated California’s anti-SLAPP statutes. A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation is a lawsuit or a threat of lawsuit that is intended to intimidate and silence critics by encumbering them with the cost of a legal defense thereby inhibiting their criticism or opposition.