Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Federal Prosecutors Clear Giant|Hurdle for Barry Bonds’ Trial

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A federal judge will let Jason Giambi and other athletes testify that Barry Bonds' personal trainer had provided them with steroids, even though Bonds' attorneys say such statements would lead a jury to believe that Anderson had supplied Bonds with the same drugs.

The list of permitted witnesses, approved by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on Monday, contains 38 names, including pro athletes, doctors, and unnamed members of the Doping Control Laboratory in Montreal.

Bonds, baseball's all-time home run king, is accused of lying to a federal grand jury on Dec. 4, 2003, about his alleged steroid use; he claimed that he thought a clear substance provided to him by his trainer, Greg Anderson, was flaxseed oil.

The ballplayer could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of four counts of perjury and one count of obstructing justice in the BALCO steroids investigation, in which he was indicted.

Judge Illston wrote that Bonds "argues that the jury will be asked to conclude 'that Anderson had a propensity to provide performance enhancing drugs ... to athletes, so he must have done so with Mr. Bonds.' This is a red herring."

She added, "The government is not implying that Mr. Anderson gave defendant injectable testosterone because he somehow had a character trait that necessitated that he package injectable testosterone with 'the cream' and 'the clear.' Rather ... it shows that Mr. Anderson had a general 'plan' - and what that general plan was - for how to distribute performance enhancing drugs to athletes, how to communicate about these performance-enhancing drugs with inquiring athletes, and how to allay concerns of athletes worried about testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs or generally being accused of using steroids."

Anderson has spent 6 months in prison for his role in the steroid distribution scandal and a year for contempt of court for not cooperating in the Bonds investigation. He is scheduled to testify during the 3-week trial that is set to begin on March 21, though Anderson has said he will refuse to testify, despite warnings from Illston that he could face additional jail time.

Also listed as a witness is Bonds' ex-girlfriend Kimberly Bell, who is expected to testify that she saw Bonds taking steroids in 2000.

According to the witness list, Bell noticed significant bodily changes in Bonds starting in 1999 "including bloating, acne on the shoulders and back, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, and testicular shrinkage. She will also testify about changes in the defendant's temperament, including an increase in angry, threatening, controlling, and violent behavior," according to prosecutors' 9-page Witness List.

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