Saturday, April 7, 2012

Interview: Mark-Fainaru Wada - Co-Author of Game of Shadows & ESPN Investigative Reporter

“There are some things I don't understand right now. The balls I used to line off the walls are lining out of the park. I can't tell you why. Call God. Ask him. It's like, wow. I can't understand it”.
- Barry Bonds, Spring, 2001

This week on Offside, we interviewed Mark-Fainaru Wada, co-author of Game of Shadows (along with Lance Williams) and ESPN Investigative reporter for Outside the Lines.

Game of Shadows is one of the most important books of our generation. The New York Times described the book as “devastating and groundbreaking”.

Among the elite athletes linked to PEDs in Game of Shadows were Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Benito Santiago, Armando Rios, NFL players Bill Romanowski, Tyrone Wheatley, Barrett Robbins, Chris Cooper, Olympians Kelli White, Kevin Toth, Dana Stubblefield, Dwain Chambers, Chryste Gaines, Calvin Harrison, Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery (who packed on 28 pounds of muscle under Victor Conte).

Game of Shadows was in part based on leaked grand jury testimony. Mark and Williams were subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury about how they obtained leaked testimony. They refused to reveal their sources and were sentenced to 18 months in prison for contempt of court. Carl Bernstein submitted an affidavit to the Court supporting Mark, Lance and their right not to disclose their sources. Ultimately, they avoided jail time when Troy Ellerman pled guilty to leaking the information.

The interview covers it all and Mark provides very compelling comments. Mark hits on Barry Bonds, Ryan Braun, Marion Jones, facing jail time, the state of the game, and newspapers having to cut investigative units for lack of funds.

To listen to the interview, click on the following links:

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