SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Federal prosecutors in the perjury case against baseball legend Barry Bonds laid the groundwork on Thursday for the highly anticipated testimony of Bonds’ ex-girlfriend.
A onetime Playboy playmate, Kimberly Bell may be called to the stand as early as next week to give what is expected to be an intimate account of the dramatic physical changes that Bonds exhibited while abusing steroids during their relationship.
Dr. Larry Bowers of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testified Thursday that if Bonds were to have taken anabolic steroids, he would have experienced incredible gains in muscle mass and upper-body strength, and his testicles would have undergone shrinkage.
Prosecutors used Bowers’ testimony to corroborate that of another witness, Bonds’ childhood friend Steve Hoskins. On Wednesday, the government played a tape Hoskins recorded of a conversation he had with Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson.
Anderson is recorded telling Hoskins that he “moved it all over the place,” referring to a needle he allegedly used to inject Bonds with steroids.
Bowers explained what kind of side effects Bonds would have exhibited if Anderson injected him in the same spot with anabolic steroids. “When you make repeated injections, the volume of oil you put in the muscle can be kind of painful,” Bowers said. “Steroids like fat; they don’t like water. So if you gave a water injection, the steroid might actually crystalize before it’s absorbed, and those things would be painful.”
“If you inject it in the same area quite a bit you increase the risk of getting an infection in that area that can lead to an abscess and actually destroy the muscle,” he continued.
Bonds is accused of lying to a federal grand jury back in 2007 when he said he had never knowingly taken anabolic steroids, and that he thought Anderson was giving him injections of flaxseed oil and rubbing him with arthritis cream.
Under direct examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Nedrow, Bowers said the cream Bonds was using could have been an epitestosterone cream designed to mask anabolic steroid use in drug tests. It is known by its colloquial name as simply “the cream.”
“‘The cream’ was basically a transdermal cream that contained testosterone and epitestosterone in the right ratios to mask any other drug use,” Bowers said. “It would basically fool the laboratories.”
On Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella said investigators had found anabolic steroids in Bonds’ urine, as well as the fertility drug clomiphene. Bowers testified on Thursday that the drug can be used to jumpstart natural steroid production.
Since steroid use suppresses one’s natural steroid production, Bowers said athletes on such substances might take clomiphene in cycles to help the body recover. He said there was no other reason for a man to ever take clomiphene.