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‘Clear’ Steroid Created Is Sentenced

August 4, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The chemist who created ``the clear,″ a previously undetectable steroid, was sentenced Friday to three months in prison and three months’ home confinement for his role in a burgeoning sports drug scandal.

Patrick Arnold was the last of the original five defendants connected to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a nutritional supplement company federal authorities exposed as a steroid distribution ring for top athletes.

In April, Arnold pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to distribute steroids.

A federal grand jury indicted Arnold in November of conspiring with BALCO founder Victor Conte to distribute the once-undetectable substance tetrahydragestrinone, also known as ``the clear,″ a powerful steroid that helped athletes add muscle mass and recover quickly from intense workouts.

``The defendant bares a heavy burden for his key role in effectively polluting professional sports with drugs which were designed to cheat the system,″ prosecutors wrote to U.S. District Judge Susan Illston.

A new grand jury is investigating whether San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds lied about using ``the clear″ to the grand jury that investigated the BALCO lab, based in Burlingame, Calif., more than two years ago.

So far, the BALCO probe has netted guilty pleas from Conte, Bonds’ trainer Greg Anderson, BALCO vice president James Valente and track coach Remi Korchemny.

The chemist was snared after federal agents raided his Champaign, Ill., lab last year.