SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A childhood friend of legendary baseball player Barry Bonds testified Wednesday about Bonds’ alleged steroid abuse, noting that baseball’s all-time home run king had complained to him that “his butt was sore” from taking anabolic steroid injections.
Steve Hoskins, who grew up with the ballplayer in the Bay Area in the 1970s, said Bonds made the comment in 2000 during spring training in Arizona at a house where the two of them were staying.
“He complained that his butt was sore from the injections,” Hoskins said. Hoskins also testified that he was present during a 2002 conversation between Bonds and his trainer, Greg Anderson, at the AT&T Park, formerly Pac Bell Park, in which Bonds asked Anderson to give him an injection. Hoskins told federal prosecutor Matthew Parrella that he never saw Bonds inject himself, but that Bonds seemed upset when Anderson refused his request.
“The conversation started because Greg would not give Barry a shot,” Hoskins said. “Barry just said that if Greg wouldn’t give him the shot, he’d give it to himself. He was upset that Greg wouldn’t do what he wanted him to do.”
Hoskins further testified that Bonds gained enormous amounts of muscle mass and that his glove and shoe sizes also grew between 2000 and 2003. He recounted having observed Bonds and Anderson disappear into the master bedroom at one of Bonds’ houses during spring training between 2000 and 2003. On one occasion, he saw Greg coming out of the room holding a syringe with a needle.
In 2003, Hoskins made an audio recording of a conversation between himself and Anderson that could reveal Anderson had been providing Bonds with illegal steroids. During testimony, Hoskins said he made the recording, taken in front of Bonds’ locker in the clubhouse, to convince Bonds’ skeptical father, Bobby Bonds, that his concerns were true. “I took it to show Bobby actually what really was going on because, when I told Bobby, he said he talked to Greg Anderson and Barry, and they told him nothing was going on,” Hoskins said.
“The only way to show Bobby was that,” he added. “It was the only way I could prove it to him.” Hoskins said he hoped Bonds’ father would be the one to convince Bonds to stop taking the performance-enhancing drugs.
Prosecutors played the crucial audio recording this afternoon. It reveals Hoskins asking Anderson about injections in Bonds’ butt. “Oh no, I never just go there. I move it all over the place,” Anderson says on the tape. He also told Hoskins: “You would be amazed at how many body builders do this.”
Yesterday, Bonds’ defense lawyer Allen Ruby said Hoskins was eager to cooperate in the case because he had been under investigation for selling sports memorabilia with Bonds’ forged signatures. Hoskins was Bonds’ personal assistant from 1993 to 2003, when the two had a falling out over business issues.
Anderson is in contempt and was taken into police custody Tuesday for refusing to testify against Bonds.