History of BALCO
Founded in 1984 by Victor Conte and his first wife Aubry, BALCO began as Millbrae Holistic, a vitamin shop in Millbrae, California. Initially a business venture to keep food on the table, only one year after opening, Victor Conte closed Millbrae Holistic and started BALCO as a sport supplement company in neighboring Burlingame. Investing in an ICP spectrometer, Conte used his knowledge of nutrition, largely self-taught, to devise a system of testing athletes for mineral deficiencies in order to maintain a perfect balance of minerals in the body. Through regular urine and blood testing, Conte would monitor and treat mineral shortages in athletes, supposedly elevating their level of physical wellness dramatically. Surviving his divorce from Aubry and several years of financial hardships, BALCO did not achieve professional success until the summer of 1996 with the addition of NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski to its client list. From there Conte began acquiring additional high-profile athletes with his special concoction of undetectable drugs, manufactured by rogue Illinois chemist Patrick Arnold and distributed by personal trainer Greg Anderson.