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Victor Conte, BALCO mastermind, part of Ryan Garcia-Devin Haney drama


News on Wednesday that the boxer Ryan Garcia failed drug tests Before him Three knockdowns upset by Devin Haney Last month came with a twist.

Haney works for Victor Conte, the mastermind of the BALCO doping scandal that 20 years ago tarnished the reputations and achievements of Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and dozens of other professional athletes.

Conte, 73, said Conte helped create the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (FADA), a non-profit organization that conducted two drug tests that Garcia failed before his fight with Haney, according to ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Conte cited VADA as evidence of his commitment now to action against drug adulteration.

VADA founder Margaret Goodman did not immediately respond to USA TODAY Sports’ request for comment submitted via email Wednesday evening. But on Thursday, Ryan Connolly, the attorney representing VADA, disputed Contee’s assertion.

“Victor Conte was not involved in the formation of VADA,” Connolly said via email. (Conte later told USA TODAY Sports that he advised VADA and referred some of the initial boxers to a drug testing program. He also said, “There’s no connection between me and VADA. There’s no kind of ownership and no kind of control.”)

Connolly also said: “VADA does not comment publicly on the analytical results of athletes tested. All results are reported in a timely manner directly to the relevant committee(s) and/or organization(s) who then manage those results.”

ESPN cited a letter from VADA stating that Garcia tested positive for ostarine, a performance-enhancing substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances.

Garcia denied doping.

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“I heard that Devin Haney, he is linked to Victor Conte, who is linked to VADA, very close,” Garcia said during a video clip he posted on his social media accounts. “Victor Conte, known to have been arrested for cheating.”

Since serving a four-month prison sentence for his role in the BALCO scandal, Conte has successfully built a home for himself in boxing. He said that he trained 28 champions.

Among the best: Devin Haney.

Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney throw punches during their fight on April 20.

Devin Haney endorses Victor Conte’s producer

Haney endorses one of Conti’s supplements in a video posted on the website of SNAC, Conti’s nutritional supplement company.

“Victor Conte’s combination of fighter training has taken me to the next level,” Haney says. “I feel so much better. My energy level has been great. …Devin Haney. You won’t regret it. I’m a strong SNAC.”

Conte said he has been working with Haney for at least eight years and met him through Sean Porter. Conte said it was not surprising to receive a phone call from Haney’s family after they learned of Garcia’s positive drug test results.

“I’m kind of important to Devin’s team in that regard,” Conte told USA TODAY Sports.

Bill Haney, who coaches his son Devin, did not respond to USA TODAY Sports’ requests for comment left by voice mail and text messages.

Conte said Wednesday that he spoke twice with Haney’s attorney, John Hornauer, to explain the drug test results to Garcia. He also said he is working with Hornauer on the drug testing protocol included in all of Haney’s fight contracts, including the fight contract with Garcia.

“I am the one who dictated the pace of testing of the entire program,” Conte said.

Hornoyer confirmed Conte’s involvement in drug testing matters.

“What Victor does to Devin regularly with SNAC I can’t really comment on because I’m not involved in that,” Hornauer told USA TODAY Sports. “As far as the drug testing part, in every (fight) we seek Victor’s input. Victor also fills out Devin’s forms because he knows what supplements he’s taking, etc. That’s his role.”

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Victor Conte faces doubts

In a 2023 Netflix documentary about ConteHaney is shown training and using an oxygen mask at Conti’s facility in the San Francisco Bay Area. Conte touts the benefits of high-gravity training and also says he provides boxers with blood work analysis, nutritional recommendations and supplements like the ones he still sells.

“There are a lot of things that are legal,” he told USA TODAY Sports at the time of the documentary’s release.

Conte said he dedicated himself to eliminating doping in sports, and was committed to training athletes without the use of performance-enhancing substances.

Contee said he knows he will always have doubters — like former IRS agent Jeff Nowitzki, who led the investigation into BALCO.

“He’ll take any publicity as long as his name is in the spotlight,” Nowitzki, now senior vice president of athlete health and performance for the UFC, says in the film. “So I don’t think you can believe a word.” says the man.”

Victor Conte responds to Ryan Garcia

After news emerged of Garcia’s positive drug tests, the boxer questioned the timing of the results being announced. One drug test was conducted on April 19, the day of the weigh-in, and a second test was conducted on April 20, the day of the fight.

“If they had this information, they should have released it before the fight started, so why would you let a cheater into the ring?” Garcia said in recorded comments on X, formerly Twitter. “All of a sudden you win and then you release him? It seems kind of fishy to me.”

In a post on X, Conte asked Garcia to stop “spreading misinformation.” Referring to the samples that were taken the day before and the day of the fight, Conte said that it takes at least 72 hours to obtain the results, so they were not available before the fight.

Oliver Catlin, head of the Controlled Substances Monitoring Group, also told USA TODAY Sports that results were not available for at least a few days before the tests were conducted.

“Attacking the schedule seems like a weak argument,” said Catlin, the son of famed anti-doping scientist Don Catlin.

Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency, said the standard time for implementation is a few weeks.

“Obviously you don’t want to rush it and you have to do it right,” he said.

“You’re either pregnant or you’re not. PMS. Claiming trace levels is like saying ‘just a little pregnant,'” Conte wrote on “

“Nobody knows more about this stuff than me,” Conte said, savoring the moment Wednesday as he explained the drug test results.





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