According to news reports, the newly identified steroid implicated in what officials are calling the biggest drug bust in sports history is distributed by a California nutrition company with ties to many well-known athletes. Many of them, including Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees and Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants, have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury investigating the company.
In a news release issued this week, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Chief Executive Officer Terry Madden called the use of THG "intentional doping of the worst sort."
"This is a far cry from athletes accidentally testing positive as a result of taking contaminated nutritional supplements," he says. "Rather, this is a conspiracy involving chemists, coaches and certain athletes using what they developed to be 'undetectable' designer steroids to defraud their fellow competitors and the American and world public who pay to attend sports events."
In the Friday news conference, Pipe said the identification of THG can be viewed in positive terms because it indicates that efforts to police illicit, performance-boosting drug use by athletes are working.
"When we uncover these kinds of incidents it is evidence of the fact that we have a system in place that is doing what it should," he said, adding that no amount of policing will work if there is an atmosphere of tolerance for drug use within the sports community.
"I don't want to sound Pollyanna-ish when I say this, but ultimately what we have is more than a drug problem, it is a values problem," he said. "Until we address the values issue we will not make as much headway as we might."