Jeff Novitzky: Where is the Ex-FDA and IRS Agent Now?

Directed by Bryan Storkel, Netflix’s ‘Untold: Hall of Shame’ is a sports documentary movie that primarily sheds light on the details of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) doping case and the people involved in the same. The man who put everything together in order to uncover this particular case involving some of the biggest names in the world of athletics was Jeff Novitzky, whose passion for sports is perhaps only rivaled by his desire to see the fairness of the industry be maintained.

Who is Jeff Novitzky?

Born on December 15, 1967, Jeff Novitzky spent the early years of his life in Burlingame, California. From 1982 to 1986, he was a student at Mills High School, after which he enrolled at the University of Arizona for a year with a track and field scholarship, where he even won the Scholar-Athlete Award in 1987. This was followed by him being a pupil at Skyline College from 1987 to 1988, during which he studied for his Associate of Arts and Sciences degree and pursued his passion for basketball. In 1992, he was a student with a basketball scholarship at San Jose State University to gain his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, specializing in Accounting in 1992.

However, once Jeff realized his dream of becoming a professional basketball athlete was a little far-fetched, he switched gears. He thus began his career as a federal agent in November 1993 by joining the Internal Revenue Service’s branch in San Jose, California, as a Special Agent. It was during this time that he decided to investigate the happenings at the BALCO facility, apparently motivated by the organization’s motto of being an “accountant with a gun” and making cases out of things around them. Having heard about possible illegal substances that the company was allegedly providing to people, Jeff looked into BALCO’s financial transactions and realized that for a company claiming to be a “blood-testing laboratory,” things were not adding up.

This led Jeff and several other federal agents to really start investigating BALCO. As per the Netflix documentary, from going through their trash to checking up on the company’s mail, the agents tried to learn as much as they would about what BALCO was actually up to. The investigation seemingly began in August 2002, and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) even received an anonymous tip about the company’s usage of an undetectable steroid, along with a syringe that contained the substance in question.

However, when Jeff and the rest of the federal agents realized that Victor Conte, the Founder of BALCO, might have learned about the surveillance, they decided to act openly. In September 2003, BALCO’s offices were raided by Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with Jeff still as the lead investigator. Despite Victor allegedly operating primarily out of office, his home was also raided at the same time. Jeff’s work allowed one of the biggest sports doping scandals to be uncovered, with the agent getting much fame for the same.

Jeff Novitzky: Pioneering Integrity in Sports Today

Jeff Novitzky left IRS in April 2007 to join Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Special Agent. During his time with this latter federal agency, he helped in the investigation of various doping cases, often involving athletes like Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds. He was also crucial in collecting various credible sources for information regarding the doping tactics that were prevalent in the world of sports. According to several public reports, Jeff also convinced a myriad of people to work with George J. Mitchell to help with the creation of the Mitchell Report, which detailed the doping practices within Major League Baseball.

In April 2015, Jeff left FDA to become a part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as the Vice-President for Athlete Health and Performance. Not long after, in July 2019, he evolved into the Senior Vice-President for Athlete Health and Performance, a position he continues to hold even today. Now based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jeff’s dedication to maintaining fairness in the world of sports remains as strong as ever. The former federal agent has received much love and hate due to his work, but it is undeniable that he helped shape the world of sports that we know today.

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