Victor Conte, the man who fueled a previous generation of sports drug cheats, thinks Major League Baseball still has a major problem with performance-enhancing drugs.
Appearing on "Jim Rome on Showtime," the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) said he believes half of the current major-leaguers are using PEDs.
"If I define that as the entire calendar year, including the offseason, I believe it's about 50 percent," Conte said. "Listen, performance-enhancing drugs work. I know that."
He also called baseball's drug-prevention program "inept."
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, BALCO reportedly supplied banned PEDs to numerous athletes, including baseball slugger Barry Bonds, NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski and Olympic track and field athletes C.J. Hunter, Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Kelli White.
Since BALCO closed after a government investigation led to Conte spending four months in prison in 2005-06, Conte has resumed his work in the same field, though he maintains he now deals only in legal performance-enhancements.
Conte told Rome that Alex Rodriguez visited him in May 2012 seeking legal supplements. Romanowski was the intermediary who set up the meeting, according to Conte, who emphasized that he told Rodriguez he no longer provides illegal PEDs.