Commonwealth National Podcast

Balco Panel: Lance Williams & Mark Fainaru-Wada (7/6/2006)

Duration: 
1:03:16

Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, long-time investigative reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle, will tell us how they uncovered the Barry Bonds/BALCO steroid scandal that recently shook America’s sports world to its core. For decades skeptics suggested that some of our most successful sports superstars were, in fact, using illegal performance enhancing drugs to maintain their competitive edge. Then, on December 3, 2004, Fainaru-Wada and Williams reported on grand jury testimony that baseball stars Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds had tested positive for steroids. They began their probe into steroid use in baseball in late 2003, after reporting on a surprise raid on the offices of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO), a little known nutrition company that made the steroids used by Bonds and Giambi, among others. They will also describe the multi national network of coaches and trainers who directed athletes to BALCO, and how those athletes were able to evade the testing agencies and remain beyond the reach of the law. In May, 2006 Fainaru-Wada and Williams received federal subpoenas demanding that they identify the sources who provided them with secret grand jury testimony from an investigation into illegal drug use in Major League Baseball.

Since their 2004 article, Fainaru-Wada and Williams have published an award-winning book, Game of Shadows, which chronicles their search for the truth about BALCO and Barry Bonds. Fainaru-Wada and Williams have won the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award, the George Polk Award, and the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Edgar A. Poe Award for their reporting.

This program was recoded live on July 6, 2006