When the BALCO steroids scandal rocked the sports world in 2003, many people blamed Victor Conte, who would eventually be convicted of dealing performance-enhancing drugs, for ruining the treasured record book of America's national pastime. After the FBI raided his lab and shut him down, Olympic records were erased and careers destroyed. Now, nearly five years removed from his prison sentence, the architect of the BALCO scandal is a free man and back doing what made him famous: training big-time professional athletes. This time, Conte says he is committed to doing things the right way and helping a new wave of top-tier athletes compete drug-free. REAL SPORTS correspondent Bernard Goldberg goes one-on-one with the symbol of the BALCO scandal to find out what he's learned.
The gossip column in the daily newspaper used to be the most dreaded place for major sports figures to see their names in bold - until Deadspin.com emerged with the motto "Without access, discretion, or favor." By adhering to its mission, the site has carved out a unique niche in the digital media landscape. Enormously popular, Deadspin has become a significant newsmaker by demonstrating a willingness to post the most personal material about sports headliners. One national publication recently described Deadspin as "the raunchiest, funniest and most controversial sports site on the web," and the list of sport stars it's embarrassed continues to grow, with little sign of slowing down. Correspondent Andrea Kremer visits Deadspin's editors to see if anything is out-of-bounds for a website that has helped re-shape the sports media landscape.
He hasn't fought professionally since 2005, but Mike Tyson, 44, is still big news. One of the most recognizable sports figures of the last quarter-century, he was labeled the "baddest man on the planet" during his controversial and prolific heavyweight career, forging such a dark persona that Madison Avenue largely shunned him during his 1986-1996 championship run. But after declaring bankruptcy and leaving the ring, Tyson has reinvented himself, finding a niche as a Hollywood actor and taking life one day at a time. Now, with his own cable TV series devoted to his love of pigeons, he's back on the national stage. REAL SPORTS correspondent Jon Frankel sits down with "Iron Mike."
With another Sprint Cup championship performance in 2010, Jimmie Johnson continues to make racing history by becoming the first driver to win five consecutive titles. Named 2010 Driver of the Year, Johnson and his No. 48 car and crew are clearly the sport's best, though they continue to hear criticism from unsatisfied fans and press. First covered on REAL SPORTS in 2008 and then the subject of a "24/7" reality series on the network in 2010, Johnson has raised his national profile while continuing to excel. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, correspondent Jon Frankel reconnects with Jimmie Johnson as he prepares for the start of the 2011 season at Daytona.