Jeff Novitzky: From FDA and IRS to Pursuing Doping Scandals

Sports documentary ‘Untold: Hall of Shame’ on Netflix, directed by Bryan Storkel, focuses mostly on the specifics of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) doping case and the individuals engaged in it. Jeff Novitzky, whose enthusiasm for sports is likely only rivalled by his desire to see the fairness of the industry be maintained, put everything together in order to unearth this specific case involving some of the biggest names in the world of athletics. If you’re wondering where the investigator is right now, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered!

Who is Jeff Novitzky?

Jeff Novitzky was born on December 15, 1967, and grew up in Burlingame, California. He attended Mills High School from 1982 to 1986 before enrolling on a track and field scholarship at the University of Arizona for a year, where he even won the Scholar-Athlete Award in 1987. He then attended Skyline College from 1987 to 1988, where he maintained his love of basketball while pursuing his Associate of Arts and Sciences degree. He attended San Jose State University on a basketball scholarship in 1992, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus in Accounting.

Jeff changed course after realising that his goal of becoming a professional basketball player was somewhat improbable. He joined the Internal Revenue Service’s San Jose, California, branch as a Special Agent in November 1993, thus starting his career as a federal agent. He made the decision to look into what was going on at the BALCO factory at this time, ostensibly inspired by the group’s ethos of being a “accountant with a gun” and building cases out of what they saw. Jeff investigated BALCO’s financial transactions after learning about reportedly giving people with illegal chemicals. He found that, for a business claiming to be a “blood-testing laboratory,” things did not add up.

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This prompted Jeff and a number of other federal investigators to seriously begin looking into BALCO. According to the Netflix documentary, the agents did all they could to find out what BALCO was really up to, from rummaging through their trash to keeping an eye on the business’ mail. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) even got an anonymous tip concerning the company’s use of an undetectable steroid, along with a syringe that contained the chemical in question. The investigation appears to have started in August 2002.

But Victor Conte, the founder of BALCO, might have known about the spying, so Jeff and the other federal agents decided to act openly. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducted a raid on BALCO’s offices in September 2003, with Jeff serving as the principal investigator. Victor’s home was also searched at the same time, despite the fact that he is said to have operated mostly from his office. One of the largest sports doping scandals was exposed thanks to Jeff’s work, and the agent gained significant notoriety as a result.

Where is Jeff Novitzky Now?

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Jeff Novitzky departed the IRS in April 2007 to work as a Special Agent for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He assisted in the investigation of numerous doping cases while he was working for the latter government body, frequently involving athletes like Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds. He was also essential in gathering information about the doping practises that were common in the sports industry from a variety of reliable sources. Several public stories claim that Jeff also persuaded a wide range of individuals to collaborate with George J. Mitchell on the Mitchell Report, which exposed the Major League Baseball doping policies.

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In order to join the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as the Vice-President for Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff resigned from the FDA in April 2015. Soon after that, in July 2019, he advanced to the post of Senior Vice-President for Athlete Health and Performance, which he still holds today. Jeff is currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, and his commitment to upholding sportsmanship is as strong as ever. Due to his activities, the former federal agent has attracted both love and contempt, but there is no denying that he played a significant role in creating the modern sports landscape.

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