Stubblefield pleads guilty in BALCO case

January 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The first football player charged in the BALCO drug probe was in federal court today, pleading guilty. Former 49er and Raiders lineman, Dana Stubblefield, admitted he lied to federal agents about his use of performance enhancing drugs.

Former football star Dana Stubblefield entered a guilty plea to making false statements to federal investigators about receiving drugs from BALCO.

In the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, Stubblefield admitted that he wasn't telling the truth when he said he wasn't using "The Clear," and "Eso" in 2003. He stopped using them when he learned BALCO was under investigation.

At the same time, the NFL told Stubblefield he had tested positive for drugs. The U.S. attorney says they found receipts indicating Stubblefield was buying the drugs from BALCO.

Lance Williams broke the story about Barry Bonds' alleged steroid use.

"When you're being interviewed by a federal agent or when you're under oath at a grand jury, you might as well tell what happened because otherwise you get into a situation like this," says Williams, a writer for The San Francisco Chronicle.

Stubblefield played for the 49ers, the Raiders and the Washington Redskins. He was named defensive player of the year in 1997.

He has been the varsity defensive line coach for Valley Christian High School in San Jose the past two years, but apparently no more. The school says "football coaching contracts ended at the conclusion of the 2007 season. We remain prayerful for Dana and his family."

Stubblefield is the latest athlete hit by the BALCO scandal. The feds' big target has been Barry Bonds.

"I think Barry's defense team will be interested in looking at the evidence in this case, but I don't think it has any real bearing on anything that may relate to Barry," says Michael Rains, Bonds' attorney.

The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. It's unlikely Stubblefield will receive that. He'll be back in court on April 25th to hear the judge's decision.