About the Authors

As reporters on the San Francisco Chronicle’s investigative team, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams broke the story of the BALCO sports doping scandal and earned a string of national honors, including the George Polk Award, The Edgar A. Poe Award of the White House Correspondents’ Association and The Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award.

In March 2006, they wrote the best-seller Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steroid Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports. The book debuted at No. 3 on The New York Times’ best-seller list and convinced baseball commissioner Bud Selig to hire former Sen. George Mitchell to investigate steroid use in the game.

However, in May 2006, the reporters were issued subpoenas to appear before a grand jury and reveal the confidential sources that helped reveal the story. The reporters refused, and four months later they were held in contempt of court and sentenced to up to 18 months in federal prison. In February 2007, after litigation and Congressional intervention, prosecutors dropped their efforts to jail the reporters or force them to testify.

Fainaru-Wada has reported on subjects including the expanding influence of sports agents; scam artists using athletes to lure investors into bogus business ventures; and the controversial owners of the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers. Besides BALCO, his work has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Best of the West competition.

Born in California, he graduated from Northwestern University. Before joining The Chronicle, he worked as a reporter at the Knoxville News-Sentinel, the Los Angeles Daily News, the National Sports Daily, Scripps Howard News Service, and the San Francisco Examiner. In November 2007, he joined ESPN as an investigative reporter.

Williams has written on subjects including the California cocaine trade, Oakland’s Black Panther Party and the career of San Francisco mayor and political power-broker Willie Brown. His journalism also has been honored with: the Gerald Loeb Award for financial writing; the California Associated Press’ Fairbanks Award for public service; and, on three occasions, the Center for California Studies' California Journalism Award for political reporting.

Born in Ohio, he graduated from Brown University and the University of California-Berkeley and attended University College, London, U.K. Before joining the Chronicle, he worked as a reporter at the Hayward Daily Review, the Oakland Tribune, and the San Francisco Examiner.

He was a University of Michigan Journalism Fellow in 1986-87. In October 2007, Williams was elevated to editor of the Chronicle’s investigative unit.

AWARDS