Drugs in Sport: Graham facing long jail term for lying to inquiry

Trevor Graham, former coach to disgraced athletes Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Justin Gatlin, faces up to five years in prison after being found guilty at his trial in San Francisco yesterday of one count of perjury. A jury concluded he had lied to investigators about his relationship to steroid dealer Angel "Memo" Heredia.

In the meantime, Lamine Diack, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, is considering ways to alter the current limitation of eight years on retroactive doping sanctions to nullify results gained by Antonio Pettigrew, a prosecution witness at the trial who confessed to doping since 1997.

That would make it possible for Britain's 400m relay team, who took silver behind a United States team including Pettigrew at the 1997 World Championships, being promoted to gold.

"Pettigrew has confessed he was doping since 1997," said Diack. "We have a rule saying that we cannot go over eight years. We have to look: are we ready to have this rule changed?"

The US 400m relay team which won the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and included world record holder Michael Johnson, also faces losing gold medals.

Graham was charged with three counts of lying to two IRS agents about his relationship with Heredia, a former discus thrower from Texas, who bought performance-enhancing drugs in Mexico and claimed to have sold them to many 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 him in person and that he last contacted him by phone in about 1997.

The North Carolina-based coach had been granted immunity from prosecution on the proviso that he did not lie about his own doping activities. The jurors convicted Graham on the charge relating to the phone calls, but a mistrial was declared on the other two.

Graham is scheduled to be sentenced on 5 September and could still be retried on the remaining counts. His lawyer, William Keane, added that his client would probably seek a judgment for acquittal in spite of the jury's guilty verdict.

Heredia gave evidence against Graham last week, as did five of his former athletes, including Pettigrew and fellow Olympic gold medallists Dennis Mitchell and Jerome Young. They claimed Graham advised them to use illegal substances and helped provide the drugs themselves.

Keane dismissed the witnesses as tainted and unreliable, and suggested his client had become a scapegoat for shamed athletes looking for excuses.

Graham was charged in the wake of a federal investigation into a doping ring operated through Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (Balco), an investigation which he triggered himself by sending to US anti-doping authorities a syringe of the previously undetectable steroid, THG, which Balco's owner Victor Conte was supplying to athletes.

Consequently eight people, including Jones, who won five medals at the Sydney Olympics, Conte and Britain's Dwain Chambers, have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges. Jones is currently serving a six-month prison sentence.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future