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'This Is Very Clever Chemistry'

"If it's a steroid, it's not working," the newspaper said he told the grand jury.

Sprinter Tim Montgomery earlier told the grand jury that Conte used flaxseed oil containers when sending "the clear" to athletes, the Chronicle reported.

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Experts say using "the cream" and "the clear" in tandem would make for a powerful and effective steroid cocktail. Both were designed to be undetectable in standard drug tests. THG, a clear liquid taken in droplets under the tongue, likely would have all of the effects of any anabolic steroid, promoting muscle growth, acne, deepening of the voice, breast expansion in men, breast shrinkage in women.

According to a federal affidavit connected to the BALCO case, "the cream" was a mixture of testosterone and epitestosterone designed to increase the body's level of the natural steroid testosterone while not raising flags in traditional drug tests, which measure the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone. Bowers speculated that "the cream" might have been used by athletes largely to mask the use of other steroids.

Catlin said the oral and topical administration of steroids are preferable to injection and provide essentially the same effect.

"People don't like to take drugs by injection if they have another route," Catlin said.

Prosecutors also presented Bonds with documents that suggested he might have used human growth hormone, Depo-Testosterone (a testosterone product for medical use), insulin and Clomid, a female fertility drug used by athletes to enhance testosterone, the Chronicle reported. Bonds denied using all of those substances, the Chronicle reported.

Human growth hormone, which is still being studied by anti-doping experts, is believed by some to promote strength by enhancing growth in general. It is taken by injection and has not been studied definitively.

Insulin is a protein believed to help human growth hormone work. Clomid is believed to marginally enhance testosterone.

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