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A native of California, Mark Fainaru-Wada graduated from Northwestern University.
Fainaru-Wada joined the San Francisco Examiner in 1997. He has been a national sportswriter for the Scripps Howard New Service and has also worked at the National all-sports daily, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel.
He has investigated the expanding influence of sports agents and how scam artists use athletes to lure investors into bogus business ventures, and written revealing profiles of the controversial owners of the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers.
He is currently an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. After fifteen months of covering steroid use in sports, in December 2004 he and fellow investigative reporter Lance Williams co-reported in the Chronicle on the secret grand jury testimony of pro baseball players Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds, making headlines around the world. Fainaru-Wada and Williams won the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award, the George Polk Award, and the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Edgar A. Poe Award for their reporting.
Williams and Fainaru-Wada co-wrote Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports. The book prompted Major League Baseball to begin an investigation into steroid use in its sport.
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