The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Book Review-Game of Shadows

Game of Shadows, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams
Game of Shadows, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams

By John Garces/sports editor

Game of Shadows, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams
Game of Shadows, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams

Game of Shadows, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, provides a detailed account into the one of the biggest steroid scandals to ever hit professional sports.

Written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters, the book is a behind-the-scenes look into the investigation of the infamous BALCO, or Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative lab, run by Victor Conte.

If you recall, Conte was the man who served as a guru of sorts for dozens of athletes looking for any competitive edge they could find.

At the center of the controversy is San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds, whose trek from jealous superstar to the face of the BALCO scandal is at the heart of the book’s investigative reporting.

The book paints Bonds, long known for his oversized muscles and surly attitude with the press, as an insecure, and at times, racist star who allegedly delves into steroids to compete with one-time single-season home run king Mark McGwire.

According to the book, Bonds believes McGwire is on steroids, but believes that because McGwire is white, nobody will look into the allegation.

Conte, the founder of BALCO, began as a small-time lab owner. He eventually found his way to several star athletes, including the Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter Marion Jones, who has since been stripped of her medals and sentenced to jail time for lying to federal investigators.

The most interesting part of the book (and quite possibly in a skin-crawling way) is the process used by Conte, Bonds’ trainer Greg Anderson and the athletes themselves to “beat” tests by developing sophisticated masking agents to cover up the drugs in their system.

The book, divided into three parts, first focuses on the “cheat or lose” mentality of steroid abusers, taking an in-depth look at the athletes who decided to take the steps to cheat.

The second part investigates BALCO and the trail of paper leading federal investigators to the athletes who were involved.

The third part deals heavily on Bonds, called the “Most wanted man in America.”

As an avid sports fan, I found the book fascinating and appalling, especially the details that illustrate how far people are willing to go to beat the system.

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