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Four Are Charged in High-Profile Steroid Case

The indictment charged Anderson, along with Conte and Valente, of distributing the steroid testosterone to "a professional baseball player" on Feb. 1, 2002, and Jan. 1, 2003. Anderson, along with Conte, Valente and Korchemny, also participated in a scheme to distribute a testosterone-based cream -- described as "The Cream" -- to professional athletes, the indictment alleges. The indictment alleges that Anderson, Conte and Valente distributed "The Cream" to "a professional baseball player" on Feb. 1, 2002. The previous November, the indictment alleges, he distributed Human Growth Hormone, another muscle-building substance to "a professional baseball player."

The indictment does not indicate whether Anderson was distributing the substances to the same baseball player. Other players, including New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi and recently acquired Giants catcher A.J. Pierzynski, were also associated with Anderson. Both were among eight baseball players called to testify before the federal grand jury that investigated BALCO.

BALCO founder Victor Conte Jr., an amateur scientist who did not finish college, in October displayed a bottle of his dietary supplement ZMA. (Paul Sakuma -- AP)

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The indictment also charges that Anderson aided Conte and the others in distributing THG, which was described by the code name "The Clear." The indictment said the athletes were told that "The Clear" would "provide 'steroid-like' effects" without causing the athlete to test positive for steroids.

Nine athletes -- five in track and field and four members of the Oakland Raiders football team -- subsequently tested positive for THG, igniting an international drug scandal last fall.

Anderson's attorney, William Rapoport, did not return phone calls seeking comment. Michael Rains, an attorney hired by Bonds specifically to handle the BALCO matter, also could not be reached.

Robert D. Manfred Jr., who oversees Major League Baseball's drug policy, declined to comment on the indictments. Baseball's current drug-testing program, he said, "is a step forward on these issues. In addition, separate and apart from that, we are closely monitoring developments with respect to the BALCO situation."

Unlike the NFL, which had four players test positive for THG after it was discovered, baseball has had no such disclosures. Last year, the league implemented random drug testing for the first time, but the results were anonymous as mandated by the collective bargaining agreement between players and owners.

Despite that anonymity, the grand jury investigating BALCO has subpoenaed the laboratories that handle collection of urine samples and analysis for MLB. The subpoenas have raised the possibility that the results could become public. No information has been turned over to authorities so far, nor has a motion been filed to quash the subpoenas, according to sources.

In making the announcement, Ashcroft was joined by IRS Commissioner Mark Everson and FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan. The announcement in Washington of a case largely confined to the Bay Area signaled its importance to the Bush administration, which has sought to thrust the steroid issue onto the national agenda. President Bush included an admonition on steroids in his State of the Union address last month, chastising athletes and sports organizations who "are not setting much of an example."

Staff writer Dan Eggen contributed to this report from Washington.

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