To: Will Carroll
You have been asking the right questions to the right people.
How can I contact you? X.
After I'd spent months of investigating steroids in sports, this simple e-mail was a shocking breakthrough. It led me to the man who purports to be one of the leading creators of designer steroids--including THG, a.k.a. the clear, the drug at the center of the BALCO controversy. I cannot prove that he is who he claims to be, but I believe he is.
Our meeting took place in a midsized Midwestern airport. Dr. X, as I thought of him, had left instructions: I would wear jeans, a white T-shirt and an "appropriate" jacket--and have nothing in my pocket except one credit card, one bill no larger than a 10, plus my car key. There would be no recording devices, notepad or cameras. At the meeting I'd empty my pockets into my hand.
I walked to the spot Dr. X had indicated and took a seat. Soon a man in a wheelchair sat opposite me. He was solidly built. He wore a hat pulled low, and his eyes were too green to be anything but contacts. He pointed to the floor.
I looked down and said, "Darn floor"--one of our prearranged passwords. He popped a piece of candy into his mouth. "Big bite," he said. This was it.
"You've got 30 minutes before I'm back on a plane," he said.
I asked how he created THG. He explained that it is a substance that is chemically similar to Gestrinone (an infertility drug) and Trenbolone (an anabolic steroid), and that it had been around since the late 1990s. While Dr. X wasn't the first to make it, he refined the process and was one of the few who could produce and distribute the substance. He'd get Gestrinone by sending women to a fertility specialist "who'd write the pass [prescription], and we'd pay cash. Doctors love that, man. We'd spend a couple hundred, spin it [mix the components] and sell it for a couple thousand."