By Ryan Maquiñana
After Angel "Memo" Hernandez, the strength coach of Juan Manuel Marquez, advised Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com this afternoon that he has filed a defamation lawsuit against Victor Conte, the former BALCO chief and current SNAC president chose to reply.
Through his Twitter account, Conte recently revealed that Hernandez is the former Angel Heredia, who was the star witness in the infamous BALCO doping cases.
Conte served four months in prison for his role in orchestrating the BALCO steroid distribution scandal. Currently in Vietnam to attend a wedding, he texted this response to BoxingScene.com:
"Memo's defamation lawsuit against me makes no sense. The truth is a defense, in and of itself. I'm 2-0 against the frivolous defamation cases filed by Marion Jones and Shane Mosley. In my opinion, this is nothing more than a PR stunt. All I have done is told the truth."
Hernandez testified before a San Francisco court in May of 2008 that he had sold banned substances—namely EPO, growth hormone and steroids—to Olympic sprinters like Marion Jones.
As stated, Conte has faced two previous defamation suits. The first was filed by Jones in 2004 for $25 million, claiming Conte lied and defamed her when he publicly stated that he and his laboratory aided Jones by providing her steroids at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
According to the New York Daily News, the lawsuit cost Conte around $150,000 in legal fees, but was eventually settled in 2006.
One year later, Jones would admit to taking PEDs with BALCO.
In 2008, Mosley filed a $12 million defamation lawsuit against the nutritionist before eventually dropping it after almost two and a half years.
The New York Daily News reported the case was "voluntarily dismissed with prejudice and without costs, disbursements or attorney's fees to any party against another," according to a document filed in the New York State Supreme Court.
Marquez is in final preparations for his third fight with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao this Saturday in Las Vegas.
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org , check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.