Sports

Victor Conte meets with WADA's Dick Pound

BALCO founder Victor Conte met with World Anti-Doping Agency boss Dick Pound Wednesday, providing information regarding athletes and drug use.

BALCO founder Victor Conte huddled Wednesday morning with World Anti-Doping Agency chairman Dick Pound, providing information on drug use by elite athletes.

Conte, though, refused to name specific athletes.

"My meeting today with WADA's Dick Pound went very well," Conte said in a statement.

"It was inaccurately reported before the meeting that I would be naming names, but that was never my intention nor is that what occurred today. Without naming the athletes, I did provide specific information regarding how athletes involved with doping around the world are so easily able to circumvent the anti-doping procedures in place."

Pound wasn't surprised Conte wouldn't divulge names, but expressed confidence in Wednesday's meeting being the first of many.

"[It was a] worthwhile meeting and quite informative," Pound told CBC News.

"But we are still at the relationship-building stage. So don't expect instant information."

"We talked about the macro and systemic problems and his perspective on that, his thoughts on how we could get better at what we do," Pound continued. "I think we will probably stay in touch.

"We will try to build up a relationship where he will have confidence in me using the information he has in the right way. We will try to get a better handle on what he knows directly and what he knows as having been part of an overall operation."

Illegal steroid ring

Conte was convicted Oct. 15 of operating an illegal steroid distribution ring out of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a nutritional supplements firm based in San Francisco.

"Pound asked what changes I would make if I were the king of the world of anti-doping for a day," Conte said. "As someone who was able to evade their system for so long, it was easy for me to point out the many loopholes that exist and recommend specific steps to improve the overall effectiveness of their program.

"Because Mr. Pound was so receptive to the insight I provided, I do believe there will be effective changes made that will benefit the world of sport."

Pound, who is leaving WADA at year's end, considers Conte to be a credible source.

"He is credible in the sense of knowing what has happened and what was going on," he said. "He was right there at the cutting edge of a lot of this stuff.

"In that sense, talking with someone who knows what he's talking about, I take him at his word, it's part of something he did in the past.

"That's behind him and he would like to now do what he can to make things work better."

Conte reportedly still sells legal nutritional supplements out of the same building that once housed BALCO.

With files from the Canadian Press

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