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Cyclist Thomas is guilty of perjury

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Paul Elias
Associated Press / April 5, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO - Former cyclist Tammy Thomas was convicted yesterday of lying to a grand jury investigating a steroid distribution ring that has implicated some of the biggest stars in baseball, football, and track.

Thomas, the first figure connected to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case to go to trial, shouted at the jury after being found guilty of three counts of perjury and a count of obstruction of justice. She was acquitted of two other counts of perjury.

"I already had one career taken away from me," she yelled, referencing her lifetime ban from cycling. "Look me in the eye. You can't do it."

Her father, who sat in the front row during the two-week trial, also raised his voice and said, "They can't do it."

Thomas then shouted and gestured at prosecutors: "Look me in the eye . . . You like to destroy people's lives."

Thomas, prosecutors, and jurors all had no comment.

Thomas's lawyer, Ethan Balogh, said, "It is difficult for all of us who went through this trial."

Legal experts said Thomas faces a prison sentence of between six months and several years. She is scheduled to be sentenced July 18.

The federal government's steroids probe has ensnared a number of elite athletes, including home run king Barry Bonds, track star Marion Jones, and former San Francisco 49ers star Dana Stubblefield. Investigators are also looking into whether pitcher Roger Clemens lied when he told Congress he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

Legal experts said Thomas's trial offered Bonds's lawyers a preview of what kind of evidence the slugger will face if his case goes to trial as expected.

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