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Chemist in BALCO case sentenced to three months

By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service

August 4, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - An Illinois chemist who created a once-undetectable steroid like sports drug known as "The Clear" was sentenced in federal court in San Francisco today to three months in prison and three months of home confinement.

Patrick Arnold, 40, of Champaign, Ill., pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiring with Victor Conte, founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, and others to distribute an anabolic steroid called norbolethone between 2000 and 2003.

He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston for that count.

During his guilty plea, Arnold also admitted to making two other drugs -- a synthetic steroid-like derivative known as THG or The Clear and another drug known as DMT or Madol -- as part of a conspiracy to give professional athletes performance-enhancing drugs that could not be detected under the drug-testing protocols then in use.

Arnold, an organic chemist, is the fifth person to be convicted and sentenced in connection with a sports steroid scandal centered around Burlingame-based BALCO.

His sentence is similar to those given to other defendants.

Conte, BALCO Vice President James Valente, track coach Remi Korchemny and personal trainer Greg Anderson pleaded guilty to various charges before Illston in 2005.

Conte was sentenced to four months in prison and four months' home detention and Anderson received three months in prison and three months' home detention. Valente and Korchemny were placed on probation.

U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan said, "This sentence is another step in our ongoing effort to prosecute those who are involved in the creation and illegal distribution of performance enhancing drugs."

Terry Madden, the chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said, "The conviction and sentencing of steroid designer Patrick Arnold is a great example of the progress that can be achieved when anti-doping organizations and the federal government cooperate in the fight against sports doping.

"We all share the same goal of breaking the hold that steroids have on sport," Madden said.

USADA is an independent, nongovernmental organization dedicated to fighting and preventing the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Olympic athletes.

In an early stage of the investigation, a track coach anonymously sent USADA a syringe containing The Clear in 2003 and said it had come from BALCO. USADA contacted federal authorities.

Illston also ordered Arnold to participate in a drug testing program and not to contact any of the previous BALCO defendants. Arnold is to begin serving his sentence on Sept. 19.

Arnold's defense attorneys were not immediately available for comment.

The chemical name for The Clear is tetrahydragestrinone or THG.

The name for Madol is desoxymethyltestosterone, also known as DMT.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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