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Prosecutors to Limit Scope of Subpoena

March 05, 2004|Ross Newhan | Times Staff Writer

Federal prosecutors who subpoenaed the results of the 1,438 steroid tests conducted by baseball during the 2003 survey trial have decided to limit the scope of the subpoena after discussions with the Major League Baseball Players Assn., The Times learned Thursday.

The prosecutors are expected to announce today or Monday that they are restricting the subpoena to the seven players who testified before the federal grand jury investigating a Northern California nutritional supplement laboratory, according to sources familiar with the decision.

Those seven are Barry Bonds, Jason and Jeremy Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Benito Santiago, Bobby Estalella and Armando Rios.

Although the subpoena was served on the two laboratories that conducted the survey testing -- Quest Diagnostics of Teterboro, N.J. and Comprehensive Drug Testing of Long Beach -- the players union, concerned about a breach in the anonymity and confidentiality essential to baseball's drug program, acted on behalf of the players to limit the scope.

The decision by prosecutors, however, does not mean they will receive the test results of the seven players, the sources said. The union may continue the effort to have none of the results released.

Gene Orza, the union's associate general counsel, refused to discuss specifics Thursday but acknowledged that "there might be some breaking news in a day or two about the scope of [the] subpoena.... But I will leave it up to the U.S. Attorney's office to make an announcement."

In the survey testing last year, between 5% and 7% of the 1,438 tests came back positive, triggering a more punitive program the next two years.

Meantime, the grand jury investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative of Burlingame has resulted in a 42-count indictment against four men, including Bonds' personal trainer, for trafficking in steroids and other performance-enhancing substances.

The San Francisco Chronicle has also reported that federal authorities have been told that the trainer, Greg Anderson, provided steroids and human growth hormone to four players: Bonds, Santiago, Sheffield, Marvin Benard and Randy Velarde, now retired.

Bonds, Sheffield and Jason Giambi have all denied using steroids.

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