In 2007, amidst accusations of ties to BALCO and illegal steroids, boxer “Sugar” Shane Mosley echoed a refrain used by many of his elite athlete peers: although he admitted using “the cream,” “the clear,” and EPO, Mosley claimed that his use of these banned substances was “unknowing.” However, allegations that BALCO front man Victor Conte “misled” Mosley into doping were not ignored. Conte responded by stating that his forthcoming book would “set the record straight” about what Mosley and other high profile athletes did and did not know about their supplementation. Mosley, who was sued for defamation by his former strength and conditioning coach in response to allegations that the coach gave him steroids without his knowledge has now filed suit against Conte in federal court, alleging slander.

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Conte, who was once sued for defamation by Olympic sprint champion, Marion Jones, has not budged from his position and has since told the Los Angeles Times that, “I didn’t deceive him; he knew what he was taking and I told him that before he took it. . . . I told him it was an undetectable steroid that wouldn’t show up in a test.”

Conte has also alleged that he has access to Mosley’s “doping calendars” and lab results, which could bolster his allegations. Success for Mosley may be difficult, as many are critical of the “unknowing” excuse, and Conte’s records show that Mosley spent $900 a month on what he claims he thought were vitamins.

-Ed Wenger

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