Steroid chemist Patrick Arnold of Ergopharm testified in San Francisco federal court today in the perjury case against cyclist Tammy Thomas. Pat Arnold said under oath that THG was explicitly created to avoid detection by athletes subject to doping controls. He admitted to selling tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) to Victor Conte of BALCO and directly by mail to Tammy Thomas. (“Chemist testifies he created steroid at the heart of BALCO scandal,” March 25)
THG was also known as “the clear” because it was not detectable at the time Arnold developed it in about 2001.
Under questioning by prosecutor Jeff Nedrow, Arnold said, “That’s the primary reason why THG was developed.”
Arnold also said, “I believe that Miss Thomas understood full well it was undetectable and that that was its purpose.”
He said he believed the cyclist understood the drug had “steroid-like qualities.”
Tammy Thomas denied ever receiving any products from Pat Arnold other than Ergopharm 1-AD; she denied receiving anabolic steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs from Pat Arnold or anyone else; she denied using anabolic steroids.
Tammy Thomas is being prosecuted for perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements – including denials that she used anabolic steroids. IMO, this is an offshoot of the steroid hysteria and federal war on steroids where prosecutors want to make an example of athletes who they suspect have used steroids.
The Anabolic Steroid Control Act (which made anabolic steroids a controlled substance) has proved virtually useless in prosecuting athletes who use anabolic steroids. Instead, federal prosecutors have perverted the perjury laws to target athletes who dope. Tammy Thomas’ case is the first test of the effectiveness of the government’s strategy of using perjury laws to target athletes and a preview of the Barry Bonds perjury case.
Ironically, THG was not legally classified as an anabolic steroid at the time that Patrick Arnold claims to have sold it to Tammy Thomas. This fact will apparently was highlighted in the defense’s opening statement. The defense strategy appears to maintain that “technically” Thomas told the truth because (1) THG was not legally an anabolic steroid at the time; (2) she did not think THG was banned at the time; (3) she obtained THG from Kelsey Dalton (Arnold’s former girlfriend) and not Pat. We’ll see how the case plays out.