Game of Shadows

Game of Shadows

Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports

Book - 2006
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The complete inside story of the shocking steroids scandal that made headlines across the country - told by the award-winning reporters who broke the story and featuring major new revelations about high-profile athletes. For years, in the shadowy reaches of the world of sport, there were rumors that some of our nation's greatest athletes were using steroids, human growth hormone, and other drugs to run faster, jump higher, and hit harder. But as track stars like Marion Jones blazed their way to Olympic medals and sluggers such as Mark McGwire brought fans back to baseball with stratospheric home runs, sports officials, the media, and fans looked past the rumors and cheered on the stars to ever-higher levels of performance. Then, in December 2004, after more than fifteen months of relentless reporting, San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams broke the story of the Bay Area Lab Co-operative, a tiny nutritional supplement company that according to sworn testimony was supplying elite athletes, including baseball MVP Jason Giambi, with banned drugs. The stories, exposing rampant cheating at the highest levels of athletics, shocked the nation as sports heroes were brought low and their records were tainted. The exposes led to Congressional hearings on baseball's drug problems, and a revived effort to purge the U.S. Olympic movement of drug cheats. Now, in Game of Shadows, Fainaru-Wada and Williams tell the complete story of BALCO and the investigation that has shaken the foundations of the sporting world. They reveal how an obscure, self-proclaimed nutritionist, Victor Conte, became a steroid svengali to multi-millionaire athletes desperate for a competitive edge, and how he created superstars with his potent cocktails of miracle drugs. They expose the international web of coaches and trainers who funneled athletes to BALCO, and how the drug cheats stayed a step ahead of the testing agencies and the law. They detail how an aggressive IRS investigator doggedly gathered evidence until Conte and his co-conspirators were brought to justice. And at the center of the story is the biggest star of them all, Barry Bonds, the muscle-bound MVP outfielder of the San Francisco Giants whose suspicious late-career renaissance has him threatening Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. Shocking, revelatory, and page-turning, Game of Shadows casts light into the shadows of American sport to reveal the dark truths at the heart of the game today.
Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, c2006
ISBN: 9781592401994
1592401996
9781592402687
1592402682
Characteristics: xvi, 332 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Williams, Lance 1950-

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g
GlenAbbeyWarrior
May 29, 2016

Game of Shadows is part sports book and part true crime, giving us a candid look at the seedy world of steroid trafficking in the Bay Area. When Victor Conte created BALCO, he had the perfect business model: provide athletes with cutting edge designer steroids that would evade detection, and in return, they would promote his legitimate supplements like ZMA. And when he bagged the elephant, Barry Bonds, it looked liked he had struck gold working with baseball's all-time home run king. But through one foolish mistake and two concurrent investigations that involved some good ole' fashioned garbage picking, his world and the athletes involved in it would come crashing down. Not knowing much about the world of steroids, I was amazed at how much I learned after reading this book. Whether its Winstrol, HGH, prohormones or "The Clear," there is quite a bit of diversity in what athletes can use if they decide to get "juiced." Of course, if you still believe that Bonds was just misunderstood or a victim of white racism, definitely pick up Game of Shadows. After nearly 300 pages, you'll see that this slugger was not only a major juicer, but also guilty of tax evasion, not to mention being an overall douchebag of epic proportions. Sadly, after knowing how Conte always stayed one step ahead of the testers, I have a bad feeling that professional athletes are still taking PEDs - they're just a lot better now at hiding it.

t
trotter73
Jul 01, 2015

Exposes PED use in the world of track and field, baseball (very detailed on Bonds) when the Balco case hit the headlines.

r
rmd21
Sep 23, 2012

Nice expose into the rampant "supplementing" by elite athletes in the world of track and field, baseball and American football. Fainaru-Wada and Williams provide the evidence that shows many records and legacies are tainted through usage of PEDs, as well as the lax attitude by the powers of baseball to effect change. Bud Selig should have been booted ages ago.

Hard to believe an ex-member of Tower of Power, Victor Conte, led all of this to happen in cahoots with an amateur, albeit brilliant, chemist named Patrick Arnold. Arnold devised a couple of undetectable steroids that if it weren't for a jealous track coach we probably would still be unaware of its existence and the cheaters would have gone down in glory...

p
pokano
Aug 08, 2010

If you weren't convinced before, you will be after reading this book. Barry Bonds took steroids.

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