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Alright, good evening and welcome to tonight's meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California. I am Marty Lurie, sports producer and host of the radio show 'Right Off The Bat' - with Marty Lurie, which airs before Oakland A's baseball. Before we begin let me tell about some upcoming programs at the commonwealth club. Next Wednesday June 6th, we welcome former senators Bill Bradley and Alan Simpson for program about money and politics. They will discuss how money influences who runs for office, who gets elected and the ability of elected representatives to remain in office. This will be a noon program at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. Then on Wednesday June 13th, New York Times military correspondent Eric Schmitt would join us to talk about what it's like reporting from the front lines in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Schmitt will discuss his nine trips to Iraq and four to Afghanistan and his Pulitzer Prize-winning winning series exposing the sale of sensitive American technology to China. This will be a 12:30 program at the Club Office in San Francisco. For more information on our programs, please go our website commonwealthclub.org. Now on to the program. You will find question cards on your seats. Please write down any questions you may have for Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, these cards will be collected during the program. Please make sure that cell phones and beepers are turned off. We will now begin the program for our radio audience. Good evening and welcome to tonight's meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California. I am Marty Lurie, sports producer and host of the radio show 'Right Off The Bat' - with Marty Lurie. It is my pleasure to introduce our distinguished speakers, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams. Mr. Fainaru-Wada and Mr. Williams are award winning investigative reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle and authors of the best selling book "Game of Shadows" which rocked the sports world with the revelations that monumental athletic accomplishments in many sports were achieved in an unnatural way. The story focused on BALCO - a nutritional supplement company which supplied performance enhancing drugs to professional athletes. Refusing to reveal their source in the grand jury investigation, Fainaru-Wada and Williams were sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. They were spared serving time when their source chose to come forward. With San Francisco Giants' slugger Barry Bonds, the central figure of the BALCO case poised to break the all time homerun mark, these two journalists join us to talk about the state of performance enhancing drugs in sports and what's next. Please welcome Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams. Nice to see you here and not in jail. Yeah, it's a great day when you don't have to go to prison. I am interested to find out how you got involved in this subject to begin with, why you two? Well, we started on this really just as an assignment at the newspaper the BALCO lab. Lance worked on the investigative team, I had just joined the investigative team. My background was in sports and I was just sitting around basically at the office and was told, hey, there is a raid that was done on this laboratory that nobody had ever heard of name BALCO, can you go find out if there is a story worth covering or that we need to cover. When you went to the website for this company BALCO, it was a vitamin company basically, they sold legal supplements but there are all these famous athletes whose names were on there. Barry Bonds was the most prominent but you had Jason Giambi, Marion Jones arguably the most famous female athlete in the world at the time, Tim Montgomery the world record holder in the 100 meters, then Bill Romanowski of the Raiders it was just a host of these celebrity athletes. So we got dragged into it at that point to see if there was a story to chase and pretty soon after we got wind of what was going on, that there was a grand jury investigation and that it was centered on the per distribution of performance enhancing drugs and sports to virtually all of these athletes. Well, as things unfolded here, I imagined that sort of like Watergate that you follow the money, how did what did you follow to get the story in this case? You know Mark was the first man in and he did a remarkable job of scooping out who might have information about what this case was going to be about. You know when he got in, there wasn't even any grand jury testimony being taken, it was just a federal investigation. Mark did a great job figuring out anybody might have a possible insight into BALCO, into the activities to these athletes and then what the Feds were doing. And I remember one, my boss says to me to come on to help, I wasn't sure there was much else to do, he had done such a good job casting in that but fortunately through all people I'd known for many years, I did get us introduced to a different constellation of sources who knew about bombs and drugs and a combination - it made for really robust reporting, I mean we did get to know a heck of a lot about what was going on. You know, they say it was going on for many, many years and as a sports reporter, did you ever have an inkling to do a story during the 90's with the Bash Brothers of the Oakland A's and seeing them and seeing what was going on in those days? No, I can't say that I did. I mean, my knowledge of performance enhancing drugs use was I think like most people have, you know, who'd followed sports the way I had, remember my age, the Ben Johnson scandal of 1988 where he breaks the world record at the Olympics and then he is, you know, exposed of being a drug cheat, then East German doping scandals in - sort of regime of creating doping but I don't think it's something I ever really consciously thought about. I know, my colleagues would talk about it years later as we got closer and as bond started to develop even before BALCO, they were certainly talking in the newsroom about those kinds of things and stories got published, I mean, there were some good work done on the steroids issue prior to BALCO happening. The problem was that you didn't have names attached to it in many cases, because largely because you didn't have a federal investigation that was forcing people to testify before a grand jury. So now the grand jury happens and the big break really in the story which forced the people involved to not be able to deny what happened was the grand jury transcripts coming out with the testimony that was in there. Was is that accurate that would be the big break that turned this investigation around in the public domain because a lot of good things have happened since the investigation took off? You know, we did a couple of stories for the Chronicle, three really important stories, we thought quoting from federal documents and saying Bonds and Giambi had gotten banned drugs and so forth but there was nothing like being able to quote the athletes own words in terms of the audience accepting this as being true and in terms of policy makers as actually wanting to tackle it. When the when we were lucky enough to quote from their actual words, things started to happen. And then things started to happen to you guys as well because that's when everyone wanted to know well how did you get this grand jury testimony with the accurate words of Barry Bonds or Jason Giambi or whoever else was before it. What did you think at that point because ultimately you got into a real fix with the courts where you were sentenced, both sentenced to 18 months in prison for not revealing the source, so how did that unfold? Well, I mean, its - certainly there became a sort of shoot the messenger mentality of the story in some ways, there was the component of these athletes being exposed but the other piece was this launching of a separate investigation and to how we got our stories and you know, I think Lance and I both - as this unfolded, became more sort of concerned about what was happening. We knew the government was investigating, we I think maybe expected they would investigate but I don't think we necessarily believed ultimately they turned to us. We had two things that happened to us prior to them, actually subpoenaing us that were some level of comfort and obviously they were misguided levels of comfort. - But one was in April 2005, we had a chance to meet the President. We won an award and we went to DC and there was a private reception - where it was, you know 40 or 50 people and we walked up and Lance was vastly more bold than I am, walked up and introduced us to the President and we had a really lovely conversation with him regardless of whatever your politics. I was he knew about the stories, he was familiar with it. Obviously he is a former owner of the Texas Rangers. The Congressional hearing had just happened on steroid use and sports and we talked about that and he told us twice in the course of our four minute conversation that, you know, we performed a service. So we came away from that feeling pretty good, that here is the President telling us we did a good job, we did important work. - And then the other thing that happened was we met a guy who used to work in the Justice Department for Attorney General Ashcroft and his role was in part, making decisions about when reporters would be subpoenaed and this was a very serious thing for the justice department to tackle, going after reporters is a huge issue and it's, you know, clearly a first amendment went in a large way - and he told us, look, you guys have nothing to worry about. There is no way they are going to come after you, I turned these kinds of subpoenas down all the time, your case doesn't rise to the level of, you know, serious national security or threats to anyone' life, you guys are going to be okay. So, I think we were both somewhat lulled into believe that we were going to be okay on that front and then, you know, unfortunately in May of 2006, I guess it was, yeah 2006 - we got called into our boss's office and prove we were proven wrong and told we got subpoenas. Well, great question here why - because what's the motivation because truthfully you helped the prosecution's case I think, by getting the information out before the public and really, you know, turned people's ideas around that this was taking place, pretty much convicted Barry Bonds in the media without a trial and also got the Congressional hearings off the ground, so why in the world would the government go after you, who was the motivating force to make that happen? Well, having followed this for all this time I can tell you Marty, I don't know how they think, you know, so I can't get in their heads and why was always the question that my family, my wife and son and daughter would always ask me, you know, really trying to understand in a way and I never came up with a good answer. I mean that the one theory that our Editor Phil Bronstein had was this was a part of a concerted effort to buzz the press's chops, that if you could get a subpoena against guys in a baseball story and make it stand up, you get one anytime you want it, so that's what he thought. Mark Corallo the - former the Justice Department official said that was absurd. What was actually going on was that federal prosecutors always want to subpoena reporters, it's just they usually have adult supervision and are told no and in this case, with Gonzales they didn't have any supervision, he was just letting them do whatever they want. Those weren't really satisfactory answers to my family, so I finally just said I don't know, may be they just went nuts and that seemed to satisfy my family anyway but we have never had - in court, it was, they had the power to do this and that was all the explanation we got. So, here we are, obviously the issue is, who is the source of information? Now, during this time that you are being threatened with contempt of court ultimately being sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison, were you in touch with the source, was there any contact with the source, say hey, you know, how do you feel about it or was there any contact to say maybe you can come forward, which ultimately did happen? You know, we've you know, that not to dodge like most people dodge our questions but you know, we really never talked about the issues and sources and who our sources were and never confirmed one way or another whether this person in the government says was our source, talked about conversations we've had. We just felt for ourselves, it was very sort of simple, we knew what we needed to do and we need to take care of, which was we had made a promise and we were going to keep that promise no matter what, that was just not an issue for us. So, for us the simplest thing was just to sort of talk with each other, talk with our lawyers, talk with our families and our bosses about what was going on and just sort of meddle through it. We were really comfortable with the arrangement, the arrangement was not - we wont give you up unless we get in the jam - the arrangement was we wont give you up and we were happy to abide by that. Well obviously someone has to come forward and you are not in prison, so someone must be satisfied without your confirming it that the information was revealed in a certain way, so at least you are here today. Good question from the audience here, California has a shield law for reporters. The federal law is much different as Mark described, more of a balancing test the ride of the first amendment as opposed to the write of what's the information that we want to get and balancing, is it worth going above the first amendment to do that. The question is has the wind gone out of the sails for a federal shield law like we do have in California? You know, I think there are good prospects for a federal shield law as a result of our case and the Scooter Libby fiasco. I think that got congressional attention and I think there are there is enough interest there that we might actually push through on that in the next year or so. Right now, according to Attorney General Gonzales, there is no balancing test necessary at the federal level - the only - according to them, the only thing that's required is they want a reporter's information, they don't recognize any first amendment issues at all that they have to address. Justice has guidelines but as they say, they are just guidelines, you don't have to follow them. And you know what I found most encouraging on the federal shield law front is we had a chance, a couple of times both before we were out in the woods on the jail situation and after to meet with a number of politicians on the hill on both sides of the isle and you know it was very encouraging to see the bipartisan support for a federal shield law. Certainly, there are people doing the Justice Department's bidding and helps with standing in the way of getting keeping that from happening but I think they are certainly a belief within the journalism community and amongst those who are proponents of the law for the politicians that this is the time it's going to happen, if it is going to happen, we have the window now to try and make it real. So, Barry Bonds is on the verge of breaking the all time homerun records, the most haloed record in baseball. His drug supplier, for lack of a better phrase is sitting in federal prison because he won't testify against him and authenticate the written records that were seized in the BALCO investigation. When Greg Anderson and Victor Conte plead guilty, why didn't the judge at that point, in the verdure of the guilty plead, which the judge has the right to do, say to Greg Anderson, knowing that this problem may come up later on where he would not authenticate records which seems to be hampering this investigation. Why didn't the judge in the verdure ask Greg Anderson, well, couldn't you tell me who you supplied the drugs to and I want to ask you about these written records, these calendars, what do they mean? Why didn't that happen? It's worse than that, it really is because I remember being at that sentencing hearing and she asked him well did you supply drugs to athletes, he says, yeah and then there is this long pause - I remember leaning forward in my chair. - and she just kept going. But a few minutes later when she was taking his - he also pleaded money laundering, the act of money laundering was writing check to a 75-year-old bookkeeper down on the Peninsula. Judge was all over that one well, who participated in this money laundering with him? So, the athlete's names aren't found in the public records but this lady from Samatao who cashed the guys check gets her name on the federal court file and I don't understand why people do what they do sometimes. I would have loved the judge to get proactive right there and the whole cause of cleaning up sport and understanding what happened would have been advanced a long way. Were you surprised at the limited way this verdure where you talked to the defendant and make sure they understand their rights but as for your basis for the guilty plea and that's when you go to the facts of the case with the defendant. Were you surprised to sit there and not hear those questions asked? Well, I mean I think we were surprised by so many things throughout the case. We certainly were surprised at that point, I thought, clearly when she was asking the questions, I said I was I - when there was this long pause I think there was almost you could sense the entire group that was there watching this play out leaning forward in their chairs waiting to see if she was going to ask the question and when she didn't I think they were certainly surprised and then it added surprise when she asked about the grandmother from Samatao but you know, that's been the case throughout. I mean, from the very beginning, I remember, Lance and I talking about, as we sort of led up to an enditment in this case back in 2004 and we were all chasing the story and wondering if we could get names and if we could find out who was associated with it, I think Lance who have a lot more experience with courts and cops than I did, fully expected that when the enditment was handed out and the court documents became public, you would see the names of the athletes who have been the drugs but in fact what happened was, instead of seeing the names, what you saw were black lines where they had essentially white'd out the names of the athletes or they didn't redact them, what they did was they referenced them in generic terms. So, Barry Bonds became a Major League Baseball player, Marion Jones became an Olympic superstar or athlete - a gold medal winner and the athletes were never identified in the public documents. So, where does the Barry Bonds investigation go now? He is playing, he is smiling, he is having a great time, he is in a slump but he will break this record and his best friend is sitting in federal prison and Bonds is going about the business of making money and playing baseball but there is a grand jury investigation still going on, Greg Anderson is in custody, where is this going? When Bonds testified before the grand jury in 2003, he denied taking banned drugs, he said he took Flaxseed oil and Arthritis balm and the prosecutors instantly knew he was fibbing and have taken considerable evidence on that point. Last summer they came very close to asking for an enditment, then US Attorney Kevin Ryan at the last, on the last day decided, no he didn't want to proceed with an enditment without the testimony of Anderson. The next sort of, you know, decision point comes, we think in early July when the grand jury that was assigned to Anderson goes out of business, Anderson's in prison for contempt for refusing to testify. At that point they are going to have to endite or extend that grand jury or let him go and so you might get a - an idea then, if they want to take the homerun king down for perdury. They still have the testimony of Kimberly Bell and this was his girlfriend on some tax evasion money laundering charges where he participated with her and putting $9900 in the bank at one time, not the magic 10,000 so it would have to be reported. Whey haven't they gone forward at least on that element of the case? I mean, I think there are so many things we don't have the answers to unfortunately and we - believe me, we are trying to chase him down everyday. I think that's been one of the questions people have asked is what happened to the tax evasion part of the case, is it still ongoing. They are certainly were taking testimony about that from Kimberly Bell and from what we are told continuing to investigate the tax elements of the story as well as the perdury case, I mean they've read testimony as recently as mid- February on the perdury case but I think no one really has a sense of whether the tax remains part of the case, whether that's gotten handled in a different fashion or what. So, your contempt citations have been dissolved as we sit here today, you are free and clear of any contempt of court? Yeah, I've got a paper hanging up on my refrigerator. Alright, let's talk a little bit about more Barry Bonds. There was a number of questions about him and how he fits into that the general scheme of baseball history and with athletes in general. First of all, should athletes taking steroids be respected because as Barry Bonds says, I still have to hit the ball, they still throw at 95 miles an hour - and what do you tell your children involved in sports when it comes to this issue? You have to view Bonds achievements in the light of how they occurred. I mean, he is a wonderful athlete before he used to be on drugs or probably going to go to the hall of fame, certainly that was his natural ability and his work that got him to that level. Steroids kicked him into a higher level and so when you look at the numbers you're putting up, you just have to think about him in those terms. Respect, I don't know, some athletes get into steroid use really through, you know, competitive desires, others feel forced to use it, it's a bad situation when the game allows it or athletes feel they have to take them, so you know, it is just a complicated mess. In terms of my kids, my boy, thank goodness, played ball all through school but never thought of it as anything more than something that was really fun, he never aspired to go on and so we never had to address that issue. I think it's when you got a kid who thinks he can get the division on scholarship or a pro contract, that's when you really have to start thinking about what he is going to do to try to kick his game up a notch. Some people say that Barry Bonds is taking the bullet for all the baseball players in the last 15 years or so, some were before Congress such as Mark McGwire who refused to testify and the public court of public opinion has condemned him but Sammy Sosa and others who were around the game miraculously lost 20 or 30 pounds when drug testing became a reality in Major League Baseball. Do you agree with that, that may be Bonds is being singled out and a number of players who will get to the hall of fame without question are not being talked about and not being prosecuted at least in the court of public opinion? I don't, I know it's become sort of rallying cry certainly amongst Giants and Bonds fans that I understand that to a degree, I think there is no question, you know, there is additional reporting to be done on this steroid issue on all levels but I think the thing you have to remember about Bonds is he is at the center of this because he is Barry Bonds. It's not because the media has decided to make Barry Bonds the center of this, it's chasing the most haloed record in all sports, is the subject of a perdury investigation, he is at the hard of a steroids investigation by Major League Baseball and he was directly connected perhaps more than anybody to the men who were at the heart of the conspiracy and there is all sorts of evidence that that is part of a federal grand jury investigation. You can't say that about Sammy Sosa, you can't even say that about Mark McGwire. So Bonds is a product of what the story has become which is BALCO and he is in the middle of it and now you know, somebody suggested us the other day that, you know, why is Barry any different essentially than Guillermo Mota from the Mets you tested positive and he is facing a 50 game suspension. Well, because he is Barry Bonds and he is going to become the homerun record holder, that's exactly why. If you were on a committee that elected a player to the hall of fame and Bonds was on your ballot, would you vote for Bonds? Right, I'd vote for Bonds the same year we voted for Pete Rose, I think of him in the same way. Well Pete Rose, his transgressions happened after his playing career and you could never challenge with the things that he did on the field, at least there is no evidence of that. Bonds, at least is a direct challenge to what he did on the field and the extra homeruns he may have hit from being enhanced changed his records. Don't you see a difference in that? Well, I mean I do, I will I always dodge this question. I mean, I have to admit it, I always dodge the question because frankly I don't have a vote, I'm glad I don't have a vote, I have really mixed feeling about, you know my brethren and the sports writing community, that's who votes, I mean it's as you know, Marty and I have concerns about sports writers being the ones who are voting on that but by the same token I certainly know what the players voting or the managers either. So, you know, I think if I had to vote now I probably would not vote for him, for the same reason I wouldn't vote for McGwire, it's a - you know, the ballot calls for you to take into account not just numbers on the field but all sorts of ancillary issues and it's open to subjectivity and I would, you know, I think people are allowed to use that subjectivity. There has been some criticism about well, you know, how can you look at McGwire differently now, when everybody looked at him differently in '98? Well the reason you look at him differently now is because there is a whole host of information and evidence that's out there and now about McGwire that didn't exist in '98 and so I think the same can be applied to Bonds. Looking at Barry Bonds and what he has accomplished and then looking at Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmero, Sammy Sosa - people like that, as we sit here today and I think you bring up a good point and I have been asked that question as well. There is no rush to vote on these people, you have 15 years after the five year period when they've stopped playing to vote on them and I think a lot more will come out. - But as you sit here today, do you feel warm and fuzzy towards the homerun hitters of Major League Baseball as you are watching these records fall by the wayside or you know, angry about it, well how do you feel? I'm just a fan. I'm not a sportswriter. I'm just sort of a second deck fan but I did like baseball quite a bit. No, it's hard to be entertained once you are exposed to this. I it's the problem for the game really to get this problem lassoed because otherwise I think you are going to lose interest in it at least at the margins and I don't think it's good for the game. In reading the book the Game of Shadows, one thing that I took from is that Victor Conte was this mad wizard not only of concoctions but he always was one step ahead with the drug testing and even today we don't have a test for hGH and some of the players are still rumored to be larger than normal and the are taking hGH. Where do you see people like Victor Conte fitting into the baseball landscape of enhanced drugs in the future? Well, I think, you know, we always felt - everybody always asked us about Bonds and I'm glad you asked about Conte because I think he is the most fascinating character in the whole thing because he is He is as you say that's sort of mad scientist figure, sort of a car salesman, he is a little bit carnival barker, I mean, he is just a self-made guy basically who was a junior college dropout and you know, went to this medical library and studied about vitamins and ultimately about steroids and managed to basically, you know, raise himself or inflict himself into the highest levels of sport and I think you know, what you're going to see with baseball and whether it's through our Conte or somebody else's, you are going to see baseball adapting to what's happened now. They never had to worry about testing, the players never had to be concerned about whether they were going to be caught using or not even though it was illegal to use the drugs, there was no testing in the sport. Well, now what you are going to see happen, I think I'm fairly cynical about this, is you are going to see the players learning just like the Olympic athletes did. The Olympic athletes have had various stringent testing policies for years, they have to basically let their whereabouts be known 24 hours a day, even when they are not competing and somebody could show up at their door and ask them to urinate in a cup. Baseball players have never had to worry about that and now I think you are just going to see an evolution in that and them learning how to beat the test. The tests are readily able to be beaten, I mean it's not that hard and so you know, I think that the evolution is this is not going to be more Victor Conte's coming forward, it's going to be baseball educating itself about how to beat the test. Well, people like Victor Conte, will be in the background see - when you say here is the test - the Victor Conte's of the world will come out and say well wait a minute, I can give you this drug and then this drug won't show up in the test. I think that's the crux of reading "Game of Shadows" if Victor Conte could beat the test. Yeah, it's going to take advances on the scientific side of testing to get testers ahead of cheaters. The other trend that we are now seeing and Europe is ahead of us in this. Law enforcement is getting involved whereas they didn't before. You know before BALCO, it was unthinkable that the feds would waste all its time and money on a drug case where the drug is so far down on the sentencing schedule that nobody is going to do much time but now, you know, in this winter a big old case started to unfold in Albany, New York Internet steroid dealing and that was going to three states. You're seeing prosecutors around the country taking steroids cases and getting more involved and so Mark sometimes thinks that the real future is not in scientific advance so much as in enforcement sophistication with the feds working with the testers. Well, how do you feel about that because we really don't hear about football players being prosecuted although Bill Romanowski is in the book and of course he was prosecuted and came I think he was prosecuted. Now he was while he was - he was another witness like Barry was, right. Correct, he was named in the grand jury. But where do you see this going with other sports, golfers and of course we see with the bicycle racing and we haven't really seen that with basketball but where is it going? Well, I mean, I think it really does depend on a) Whether there are these advancements in science but b) Why do you continue to see this influence by the government. You know one of the things that was most educational to me about starting to cover the story is that the drugs can benefit virtually any athlete in any sport and you can find a drug that would help you to perform better, to have more energy, to be able to work out more often, any of those kinds of things. So the question is what do we want as the sport. I think that is going to be the part of the question too, what do fans want, what are they willing to accept. You know, I've always thought that the big disconnect with BALCO, is you could go to the ballpark and you would walk up to a fan and with their child and say, hey do you want your kid to use steroids and they would say well no of course I don't want to do that, but then that same fan would show up at the park, Barry would hit the ball 500 feet and they and their kid would be out of their seat cheering like crazy because that's the dynamic of being a sports fan. So, I think there is a whole issue - there are a whole set of issues, you know, if law enforcement gets more involved, if we start seeing prosecutions of athletes in the same way, that there are prosecutions of athletes in Europe, it changes the dynamic entirely. If you see fans starting to become turned off by the notion of players continuing to cheat and then being exposed for it, I think that changes the dynamic but you know money is always going to be the driving issue here and I think that will rule the day. I agree with that. Bud Selig, Hank Aaron, they've gotten in the news lately and now they haven't directly said, well, Barry Bonds we feel you cheated, we are not going to be there when you break the record for that reason but indirectly by the commission of baseball not showing up, he certainly gives his opinion as to what he thinks of Bonds and Hank Aaron as well. What do you think about that? Well, you know, Commissioner Selig commissioned an investigation of the steroid era routine, Senator Mitchell spending a fortune trying to do a record on the steroid era, I don't think it would be consistent with his interest, his professed interest in cleaning up the game, if he were to show up at the day Barry breaks a record because there is a cloud over the record where he won't talk to Senator Mitchell until it's strained out and don't think it's appropriate really for him. It's too schizoid really for me and so I I'm all good with him, going fishing and you know Wisconsin or something. Okay and Mark, Hank Aaron - does he have any responsibility, probably not - but of course when McGwire broke Maris's record, the Maris family was there and celebrated with McGwire. It's a different world today with the information that you brought forward. Well, yeah what the Maris family have shown up and saying what else if they knew all that they knew now, I mean, I don't know, I think that's an interesting question too but you know, I don't think, I don't think Aaron has any responsibility, I mean, particularly with everything that's going on. It's clear what's happened, you know, to me if you look at the numbers that Bonds has produced, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind we won't be having this conversation about the homerun record if he hadn't started using the drugs. He is undoubtedly a Hall of Fame player before he makes the choice, one of the greatest players ever perhaps, even before he makes the choice. But the numbers are overwhelmingly clear that this has put him in this position to pass Aaron, so you know, I think Aaron can make the choices he does, I find the commissioner situation much more fascinating because it says everything about where the sport is, I mean, that you would have the commissioner of the sport totally conflicted about whether to show up for what otherwise would be that is, you know, unbelievable moment, I mean, you know, you can imagine what they will be doing if this were completely pure. I mean, we would have, you know, every TV network could be vying for getting games as much as they possibly could, to spend as much money, you know, baseball would be talking about for weeks and months ahead, the kind of celebration you'd be seeing. You'd have corporate interest all over the place and that and yet none of that exist really. - And so, the fact that the commissioner has no idea whether he really should show up and he's talking about this as if it's any other record, I think it just speaks volumes about where the game is right now. So, Bud Selig MLB, they really complicit in everything that went on up until the investigation really took place. Sure, baseball bears tremendous responsibility for allowing the situation to fester. I mean, at the clubhouse level, people had to know this was going on, when young men are showing up in spring training with 20 extra pounds of muscle on their frame, they had to know what was going on. There are health risks, they are putting these guys in situations where they are endangering their lives long- term for the, you know, for the short-term benefit. So, sure - I mean, there are reasons baseball couldn't address it and they are complicated and they involve the Labor Agreement, and they involve the problems the game had in '90's but that doesn't excuse them from responsibility. Would we have gotten to this point without "Game of Shadows" and without the work that you did really as investigative reporters and did the digging and following the trail, - would we have gotten here today with the Mitchell investigation, the Congressional hearings and the court of public opinion really supporting what you did, would we have gotten here without your work? You know, Mark and I were honored to be able to do these stories. Some people say they made a difference in, you know, that's what we're all about in journalism shucks. Well, was there an alternate source, you know, they always say in law, is there another way to get to a Listen, the government could have laid the cards face up on the table back in 2004 and we'd be way farther along. They know things that we don't know about this, they know detail, they know other sports impacted and they sit on that data and it's of no use to anybody really. Well, and this is a thing too, I mean, if you had, I mean, it is great that all this dialogue has been created as a result of the BALCO investigation, what the government has done, the reporting and all those things. But if you had, you know, a lot of people will say oh well just wait for the truth to come out, whenever the government essentially decides for it to come out or however it does, but you would have had I mean, none of - you would be waiting until guys retired perhaps and Bonds is well past the record possibly. If the government comes out back in 2004 and starts naming names and identifying, it changes the dynamic entirely and in many ways perhaps facilitates and expedites all of this happening in a, you know, and also not in such a controversial layout. You know, this is still a sexy story, that the BALCO story, the Bonds story, how come other writers haven't - national writers, how come there isn't a ground swirl of writing on the investigative side, you did your investigation and you got your sources and really brought the story forward, how come this hasn't gotten wind with other writers around the country. Now say, a lot of people comment on it but no one really did what you did. Well, a lot of papers took runs at it, the San Jose Mercury did important reporting, so did the New York Daily News, the New York Times has been in the hunt, but it's not an easy story to get. I guess when it gets down to and we had the advantage of being based in the city and with the time to - or nothing better to do but every morning going and start shaking the tree again to see if we get something and I think the positioning we were in made us, gave us an advantage. Jason Giambi is back in the news and off course he is an original grand jury interviewee when the BALCO case started. Now he's come forward again and somehow he is trying to be the clean - the knight in shining armor in this whole sordid affair and as soon as he said we should apologize or baseball should apologize, the news came out, T.J. Quinn of the New York Daily News broke a story that he failed an amphetamine test last year. What's your advice to Jason Giambi? Well, I mean, I know his lawyers advice to this, you know, he was just shut up. You know, I have such mixed feelings about Giambi, I - you know, I know, sportswriters love him because he is a good clubhouse presence, he's a good person. It seems he is a people pleaser and yeah there is this sort of perception that Jason is about you know coming clean and being honest and all of that and you know the reality of Jason is that he testified before that grand jury. He admitted to using a host of drugs he demonstrated for the grand jurors and the prosecutors how he injected in his belly area and how he injected in his butt and then he walked out and he told the public he never used the drugs in his life. You know and then when he goes and he talks about this thing recently and says we all should come clean to admit it, he doesn't really come clean he just sort of says yeah I use some stuff but he doesn't really elaborate on what he has used. I understand he is worried about Mitchell investigation coming after him, the players are all in a difficult position in that way but by the same time you know after T.J's story comes out about amphetamines and they go to say do you have a comment about this well, you know, Jason wouldn't have anything to say. So, you know, I think he has certainly presented himself in a better way than Bonds has perhaps in the situation but he is now, you know, he is not the saint I think that the people want him to be. Within baseball we've had some people come forward and one comes to mind for me and I'd like to get your opinion of Jose Canseco. And Jose Canseco appeared before the Congressional committee and he basically said that he and Mark McGwire had injected drugs as essentially in the A's clubhouse in the bathroom stall and he scoffed at Rafael Palmero and people like that and it turns out maybe Palmero wasn't telling the truth but what's your opinion of Jose Canseco and the things he has said about steroid use in baseball how far back it goes and how it involved the Oakland A's? We found Canseco credible when he was writing about us, when he speaks about things that he saw with his own eyes or did. I think the core of his story and certainly his account of what was going on both of the A's and the Rangers I found unshakable. He is not reliable when he is doing big picture stuff, talking about people's motivation, estimating percentages of drug use giving the history of druggists, - if he doesn't see it I am suspicious of it but what spoke volumes for me was he's sitting there and Mac is over there and he is saying to us what happened and Mac just doesn't want to talk about the past, I thought that at that point Jose's credibility was established. Mark, how do you feel about that? Well, I mean I don't know about sitting at those, I was indeed sitting for those Congressional hearings and they were one of the most amazing things I've ever covered and that was one of the things that struck me a lot and that was you had this lineup of guys, you know, Curt Schilling and Palmero and Sosa and McGwire and Canseco sitting there and he was the most credible guy at the table. I mean he was far in a way the most credible guy at the table and you know had you asked anybody to name the most credible person at the table five years ago, Jose would have been last. I mean, nobody would have thought, you know, people would have laughed about Jose but he was clearly as Lance says I think when he was talking about what he experienced, you know, it came off as very reliable and I think that's proven itself. You know, Palmero is the best example of that and McGwire too by being quiet but remember watching Palmero wag his finger to the Congressmen and thinking why is that guy wagging his finger, that's just doesn't make any sense. So I find Jose fairly believable. Sammy Sosa is two homeruns away from 600 which is a significant mark. There have only been a few players who have reached 600, he may do it the next few days. No one has written anything about Sammy Sosa and how he fits into this investigation. He was before Congress, he chose his words very carefully and he didn't do anything illegal in any country that he was in being that he was in the Dominican Republic, maybe things were different there as far as the law's are concerned but he is on the verge of breaking through the 600 mark, no one says much about it in a negative sense, they are sort of lauding him, really. Well, there is no I've not seen any reporting that ties him to banned drug use and so you are left with suspecting it because of the changes in his body size and so forth and they are dramatic. Yet, we've always thought it was unfair that to engage in speculation, we don't have the evidence. I think the worst thing I saw last year was a column on a sports website about Ryan Howard, the young Philadelphia Phillie, was having a great year and the column was hey Ryan Howard has got to be on something. Sure there is no evidence of it but nobody could and so you get into this sort of downwards spiral where anybody who is hitting well is automatically guilty and I just don't want to get into that, I think that's bad too. Where is the Mitchell investigation going, it has no subpoena power, the baseball union has essentially reported that they have advised the players not to cooperate to some degree, where is the Mitchell investigation going, doesn't it have an end to it, is there a popular end to it? Well, it's not going well, I don't think and I don't know where it is going. I - you know, as you say you don't have the players cooperating. There's no reason for them to cooperate other than the purity of their heart which is - doesn't seem to be a compelling enough reason for triumphant many of them and the union is suggesting that they don't cooperate. They - there are witnesses that have been part of the Bonds perjury investigation that the government has put off limits essentially to the Mitchell investigation. The Mitchell investigation really has just been standing in line behind the government in many ways waiting to see where they go with Bonds but also stymied by this reality of not being able to get players to talk, they've done everything from, I mean, they've gone after everything, they've gone after medical records from players dating back like 10 years, phone records - but they are ultimately stymied by the reality that they can't get the players to talk. He's going to have a report, he's got to have a report, I would imagine sometime by the fall you will see something but he has been slowed considerably and the question is, you know, if he has a report and how extensive will it be. Will he be able to identify players who used, what will the commission do about that but if he's not and the report says look I couldn't get anywhere and these are the reasons does Congress then get it's hackles up again and get back involved in the issue. There are players in Major League Baseball such as Curt Schilling. They've come forward and they've sort of separated themselves from the players who allegedly use enhancements, obviously Schilling had some words about Barry Bonds on Schilling's website. Is there this division within Major League Baseball and probably there is still some who are big guys in Major League Baseball that we would suspect are using something. Then there is this local group of players, is there really a division with the clean players and the once who maybe suspected, have you seen that happen in Major League Baseball. Is Schilling a spokesman for what's going on what if? Well, if he is, then those guys have a whole lot of trouble because I don't find him to be terribly credible. I mean, at - again at the Congressional hearings he was the guy who had been so outspoken about steroids and then set up there, he was supposed to be the sort of poster child for the other side. When the Congressmen confronted him about that he said I was taken out of context and then sort of down played the issue. So you know, I'm always leery and I don't say this about Schilling himself but I think you have to leery of anybody who is out there sort of presenting themselves as the public face of anti-doping. From a player standpoint because you know what somebody told us in the middle of the BALCO was, once a steroid user always a liar and so I - I am leery of this notion of players sort of presenting themselves in a certain way but I don't know that there is a division, there was certainly a division enough back in 2002 to get a policy in place. The Union finally buckled because there was pressure from players I think, to get a steroid's policy but I think there is almost unanimity amongst the players now at least that's my sense that they would just like to get this issue over with them to move on.