Shane Mosley SteroidsChampion boxer Shane Mosley is a fighter by heart and to him quitting is not an option. That philosophy has worked for him in the ring and he hopes it’s going to do him service in the legal arena as well.

Mosley’s defamation suit against Victor Conte and the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) has been dismissed in the San Francisco Federal Court and Mosley immediately filed similar suit in a state court in New York.

James Wagstaffe, Conte’s lawyer, said he would file a motion to argue that New York is an improper jurisdiction.

“He’s seeking publicity,” Wagstaffe said of Mosley. “He was facing bad publicity. His suit was about to be thrown out. He’s suing because he wants the world to know he sued. It’s a process case, and at the end of the day, when people bring libel suits to make a point, the truth follows.”

“Shane Mosley is going to soon find out that the truth packs a powerful punch,” said Conte. “I am going to knock him out in a court of law.”

Conte is the founder of BALCO and is now called as the ‘mastermind of the biggest doping ring in the history of sports’. In 2003, the so-called BALCO Affair grabbed international attention because of the status of the personalities that were implicated.

The BALCO Legacy

Numerous professional athletes, including Marion Jones, Bill Romanowski, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds, were reportedly supplied with steroids and performance boosters. Subsequently, a federal inquiry took place conducting investigations and procuring evidence against athletes, coaches, trainers, as well as those connected with BALCO.

A couple of those involved in said scandal have been found guilty, mostly of perjury charges.

Marion Jones is currently serving her six-month prison term for perjury involving check fraud case and use of banned compounds.

Trevor Graham, the famed US athletics coach to many elite athletes, including Jones, was convicted in May 2008 of one count of lying to federal investigators.

Conte himself spent four months in prison and another four months under house arrest for one count of conspiracy to distribute steroids and a second count of laundering a portion of a check.

In December 2007, The Mitchell Report was released. United States Senator George Mitchell conducted the investigation on the use of steroids and performance-enhancing substances in the Major League.

Mitchell was appointed by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig at the height of the controversy created by the publication of the book Game of Shadows by San Francisco Chronicle investigative reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada in 2006. Williams and Fainaru-Wada were the reporters who exposed the BALCO Affair. Game of Shadows chronicles the use of banned compounds by MLB players, including Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield.

Of Books and Crooks?

Taking cue from the authors of Game of Shadows Conte is now planning to publish a tell-all book, which includes the allegations he made against Mosley.

It was March 30 this year when it was announced by the New York Daily News that Conte is scheduled to write BALCO: The Straight Dope on Barry Bonds, Marion and What We Can Do to Save Sports.

Mosley’s attorney, Judd Burstein, meanwhile said that they are ready for a legal counter.
“As soon as they publish the book we’re going to sue them the next day,” Burstein said to the Daily News.

According to Burstein, the new suit against Conte demands for at least $2 million in compensatory and at least $10 million in punitive damages. He added that they are ready also to sue the insurance company underwriting Skyhorse Publishing for defamation. Skyhorse is the publisher of Conte’s book.

Conte bared his allegations about Mosley’s doping to the public on March 30, telling several media groups that Mosley was very much in the know of what he was getting from the BALCO founder.

Three days later Mosley sued Conte.

Mosley has repeatedly denied that he has knowingly take steroids and other PEDs. He said he thought the substances he was provided with were legal and healthy compounds. According to Burstein, his client has provided the same statement for the grand jury which was investigating BALCO in 2003.

“Shane’s never denied that he took the stuff,” said Burstein. “He just didn’t know what it was.”

Conte, however, was saying otherwise and offered evidence to support his claim.

Conte said he has calendars that provide vital details about Mosley’s doping protocol. Along with Mosley’s former trainer Derryl Hudson, Conte has filed a sworn affidavit detailing how he directly explained to the boxer that the compounds were steroids and erythropoietin or what is commonly known as EPO. Conte and Hudson had also stated in their affidavits that Conte demonstrated to Mosley how to self-administer EPO.

“This dismissal is proof that the case has no merit,” said Wagstaffe of Mosley’s case in San Francisco. “After we submitted proof that Mr. Conte’s statements were true, Mosley and his attorneys dismissed the California lawsuit.”

Jeff Novitsky, a lead investigator on the BALCO steroid scandal, has also directly implicated Mosley. Novitsky reported that a document found at a BALCO lab indicated that the boxer had received designer steroids known as The Clear and The Cream, which were later identified as tetrahydrogestrinone and testosterone cream, respectively.
Defamation suits en vogue

Defamation suits seem to be the trend nowadays in sports world. Another BALCO-related suit was by that of Roger Clemens against his former trainer Brian McNamee. Clemens and McNamee were two of the most prominent names involved in the BALCO Affair.

In January this year, Clemens filed a defamation complaint against McNamee before the latter was to testify on Clemen’s use of steroids and human growth hormone.

Other athletes outside of the BALCO Affair have also sued for defamation related to doping allegations in recent years. These include cyclists Kayle Leogrande and Lance Armstrong.
Seven-time Tour de France champ Armstrong has been embroiled in numerous defamation suits stemming from doping allegations. He’s been against Britain’s Sunday Times in 2004 when the newspaper reprinted allegations mentioned in the book L. A. Confidentiel – Les secrets de Lance Armstrong.

The book contains the allegations of Armstrong’s former masseuse Emma O’ Reilly who claimed that she had disposed of syringes and disguised needle marks on his arms. Another source of the book was Steve Swart, a teammate of Armstrong during his Motorola days, who alleged that he and Armstrong as well other riders began using steroids in 1995.

Kayle Leogrande, likewise, recently served a defamation case against Suzanne Sonye, a former staff member of Leogrande’s Rock Racing team. Leogrande also filed similar complaint against fellow professional cyclist Matt DeCanio.

The defamation suit resulted from a phone conversation between Sonye and Decanio, in which the former had mentioned that Leogrande was a doper. DeCanio, an anti-doping activist, recorded the conversation and posted it on his website. Leogrande apparently got a temper as colorful as his tattoos and took offense and sue Sonye and DeCanio.