Sunday, April 6, 2008

Summary of "Game of Shadows"

For years, in the shadowy reaches of the world of sports, there were rumors that some of our nation's greatest athletes were using steroids, human growth hormone, and other drugs to run faster, jump higher, and hit harder. But as track starts like Marion James blazed their way to Olympic medals and sluggers such as Mark McGwire brought fans back to baseball with stratospheric home runs, sports officials, the media, and fans looked past the rumors and cheered on the athletes to ever-higher levels of performance. The, in December 2004, after more than fifteen months of relentless reporting, San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams broke the story of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a tiny nutritional supplement company that according to sworn testimony was supplying elite athletes, including baseball MVP Jason Giambi, with banned drugs. The stories, exposing rampant cheating at the highest levels of athletes, shocked the nation as sports heroes were brought low and their records were tainted. The exposes led to congressional hearings on baseball's drug problems and a revived effort to purge the U.S. Olympic movement of drug cheats.

Now, in "Game of Shadows," Fainaru-Wada and Williams tell the complete story of BALCO and the investigation that has shaken the foundations of the sporting world. They reveal how an obscure, self-proclaimed nutritionist, Victor Conte, became a steroid Svengali to multimillionaire athletes desperate for a competitive edge, and how he created superstars with his potent cocktails of miracle drugs. They expose the international web of coaches and trainers who funneled athletes to BALCO, and how the drug cheats stayed a step ahead of the testing agencies and the law. They detail how an aggressive IRS investigator doggedly gathered evidence until Conte and his co-conspirators were brought to justice. And at the center of the story is the biggest start of them all, Barry Bonds, the muscle-bound MVP out-fielder for the San Francisco Giants whose suspicious late-career renaissance has him threatening Hank Aaron's all-time home run record.

Shocking, revelatory, and page-turning, "Game of Shadows" casts light into the shadows of American sports to reveal the dark truths at the heart of the game today.

Works Cited:
Fainaru-Wada, Mark and Williams, Lance. Game of Shadows, Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports. 
Taken from the synopsis of Game of Shadows.

1 comment:

Morgan said...

Note: Texas DOES NOT have a shield law. However, The Texas Constitution reads as follows regarding free speech and libel:

Article I, Sec. 8

"Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press. In prosecutions for the publication of papers, investigating the conduct of officers, or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases."

Recent attempts to establish a Shield law have been shot down because some say this article, in conjunction with The Constitution of the United States, provides enough protection. What would be the result of a similar case in Texas?