Blood Money

Victor Conte became a guru to a roster of sports stars who were desperate to get better. Did he cross the line?

Originally Published: October 24, 2003
By Peter Keating and Shaun Assael | ESPN The Magazine
When the feds want to raid somebody, they start with an advance man, the kind of guy who you'd say was casing a joint if he were working the other side.

The advance man showed up early on the morning of Sept.3 at a sleepy industrial park in Burlingame, Calif. He asked some questions at a toy store, then surveyed the business next door, where the occasional fluttering of a small American flag stuck in a mailbox was the only visible sign of activity. His mission was simple: to leave its occupants no way out when the hammer came down.

Peter Keating

ESPN Senior Writer
Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. His column, The Numbers, appears in every issue.

Shaun Assael | email

ESPN Senior Writer
• Senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and
• New York Times best-selling author. New book in 2016: "The Murder of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin & Heavyweights."