Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Victor Conte Responds to Ruling in Mosley Case

Victor Conte has been engaged in a protracted legal battle with boxer "Sugar" Shane Mosley.

I contacted BALCO founder Victor Conte on Wednesday afternoon in regards to the recent ruling in the legal proceedings he is engaged in against “Sugar” Shane Mosley.

For those not aware, the basic gist of the litigation is that Conte maintains Mosley knowingly purchased and used performance-enhancing drugs from his Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) organization in the summer of 2003. It was prior to Mosley's rematch with Oscar De La Hoya. Mosley is arguing he was not aware the substances were illegal (he claims he thought it was vitamins and flaxseed oil) and he is suing Conte for defamation.

Justice Louis York of the New York State Supreme Court recently rejected a request from Conte's attorneys to dismiss the defamation suit. Mosley attorney Judd Burstein sent out a press release today claiming some sort of victory and that Mosley is now closer to “securing justice.”

In a brief e-mail to this writer, Conte wrote:

“I just don't get it. Shane Mosley has admitted to the BALCO grand jury that he knowinglyused drugs. He's now claiming in this lawsuit that he didn't know that he was using drugs. Does this mean that he is now saying that he committed perjury before the grand jury? This entire case is outrageous.”

In a separate e-mail, also obtained by other news organizations, Conte wrote:

“There was absolutely no victory today for Shane Mosley in his defamation case against me. Quite the contrary. The New York judge simply asked for depositions to be taken before he throws the knockout punch to the case. Specifically, the judge noted that he is not even sure if he has jurisdiction to rule in the case. The only thing running at this point is Mosley's attorney Judd Burstein's mouth.”

A lot of mud-slinging to be sure and likely more will be slung. However, one thing is for certain: Other athletes who have professed they did not knowingly take drugs from Conte in the BALCO investigation have wound up on the wrong end of the law.

Sprinter Marion Jones served time in federal prison for lying to investigators about drugs she received from Conte. Baseball's all-time home run king, Barry Bonds, has been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for his involvement in the BALCO case and for denying he knowingly used illegal substances.

In light of that, Conte's comment about Mosley committing perjury is interesting.

June 2009