Federal prosecutors want 10 month sentence for track coach Graham for lying

SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal prosecutors urged a judge late Tuesday to send track coach Trevor Graham to prison for 10 months for lying to sports doping investigators while he pleaded for probation.

A jury in May convicted Graham of one count of lying to IRS agents about his connection to an admitted steroids dealer. Prosecutors dropped two other related charges after the jury deadlocked but insisted he serve time in prison for helping numerous elite track athletes buy and use performance-enhancing drugs. Graham once coached Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and several other athletes who have admitted to doping.

"In the process, he played a key role in corrupting USA Track and Field to the extent that it may never recover from the damage he helped to inflict," prosecutors said in a court filing.

Graham's attorney pointed out in a dueling court filing late Tuesday that it was the track coach who anonymously provided a vial of "the clear," a then undetectable steroid, to USADA. That blew the whistle on what became known as the BALCO case, which has resulted in the convictions of 10 people.

But because of his conviction and the disclosures that he provided numerous athletes with drugs, Graham has been banned from participating in any event sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the IAAF, USA Track and Field or any other group that participates in the World Anti-Doping Agency program.

Graham, 45, a 1988 Olympic silver medalist on Jamaica's 400-meter relay, is driving a school bus part time, his lawyers stated in court papers.

Graham's court filing urging probation states that "as a result of the BALCO investigation and his conviction, Mr. Graham's coaching career is over, his reputation forever tarnished, and his family severely impacted financially and emotionally."

Federal probation officials have recommended he serve six months of home detention, the same sentence BALCO athlete Tammy Thomas received Friday for lying to a grand jury about her steroid use. Baseball's Barry Bonds has pleaded not guilty to similar charges and faces trial in March.

Graham is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 21.