The man at the heart of the Balco doping scandal has been sentenced to eight months in prison.
Vincent Conte, founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, entered a plea deal with prosecutors in San Francisco, admitting to steroid distribution and money laundering.
He confessed to selling performance-enhancing drugs to scores of athletes, including Britain's Dwain Chambers and faced up to 25 years in prison but will spend four months behind bars, then four months' home detention.
Many top athletes are thought to have tried the legal nutritional stimulant he pioneered and several will now avoid being paraded before a criminal trial.
Chambers admitted dealing with him after testing positive for "designer steroid" THG. He was hit with a two-year ban which is due to expire next month.
Balco vice-chairman James Valente was expected to get probation after pleading guilty to reduced charges of steroid distribution. Greg Anderson, trainer to baseball star Barry Bonds, was expected to receive up to six months.