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Monday, 10/20/2003 10:44:30 PM

Monday, October 20, 2003 10:44:30 PM

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Giambi says he was subpoenaed by BALCO grand jury
By Associated Press, 10/20/2003 10:33

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating a company that prescribes nutritional supplements for elite athletes, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday.

Giambi said he visited the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, last fall before going on a tour of Japan with other major leaguers.

''I just asked about some vitamins and supplements and stuff like that,'' Giambi told the newspaper. ''No big deal.''

Burlingame-based BALCO, whose clients include San Francisco Giants superstar Barry Bonds and Oakland Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski, was raided last month by agents of the Internal Revenue Service and a San Mateo County narcotics task force.

Also raided was the home of Greg Anderson, a personal trainer for Bonds.

Authorities have refused to discuss the case, and the focus of the grand jury is unclear. Officials with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, however, have said that earlier this year, a coach sent them a syringe containing a designer steroid that the coach said he got from BALCO founder Victor Conte.

Conte told The Associated Press in an e-mail that about 40 athletes have been subpoenaed in the case. He has said he was not the source of the substance in the syringe, a steroid called tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG.

BALCO analyzes blood and urine samples from athletes, and then prescribes supplements to compensate for deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.

Although many of BALCO's star clients have not commented on the burgeoning case, the agent for U.S. shot put champion Kevin Toth told the AP that Toth had been subpoenaed.

Sprinter Kelli White told the Chronicle that she too has been called to the grand jury. Testimony before the panel is expected to begin this week.