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Government set to make case against Barry Bonds

Witnesses will testify that they saw the former slugger being injected and heard him admit use of steroids.

February 14, 2009|Lance Pugmire

The government's perjury and obstruction of justice case against Barry Bonds includes plans to call witnesses who will testify that they saw the slugger "being injected" and heard him make statements "admitting his use of steroids," according to court filings Friday in San Francisco.

Among its 39 witnesses, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Northern California said it would call upon "the defendant's mistress," Kimberly Bell, former personal assistants and former teammates Bobby Estalella, Benito Santiago, Armando Rios and Marvin Benard, as well as other major league players.

Bonds' defense witnesses are expected to include Harvey Shields, a former trainer for the player, and San Francisco Giants trainer Mark Letendre.

Bonds, baseball's single-season and career home run king, told a federal grand jury in 2003 that he unknowingly took designer steroids "the cream" and "the clear" when he believed he was using an arthritic balm and flaxseed oil.

In its filing, the government said Bell "will testify that the defendant told her that he was taking steroids prior to the 2000 baseball season. [She] will further testify to personal observations regarding changes in the defendant's body [beginning in 2000] . . . including bloating, acne on the shoulders and back, hair loss and testicle shrinkage," which prosecution experts will testify is indicative of steroid use.

Estalella, the government said, will testify that Bonds "admitted using performance-enhancing drugs, and that they had several discussions regarding that topic." Kathy Hoskins, Bonds' former personal shopper, will be called to tell the jury that she saw the player receive an injection, though the filing did not say whether she believed it was steroids. Another prosecution witness is expected to "testify about incriminating statements by the defendant related to [personal trainer Greg] Anderson's steroid dealing" in 2003, according to the filing.

In a seven-page list of exhibits it plans to introduce in trial, prosecutors included log sheets and letters from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), where they say Anderson obtained the steroids, along with several blood tests and lab results for a BLB, identified by the government as code for Barry Lamar Bonds. The list also includes money and "doping calendars" with Bonds' name or initials on them that were discovered during a raid of Anderson's home.

Syringes, human growth hormone vials and documents pertaining to other athletes with connections to Anderson, including Estalella, Santiago, Jason and Jeremy Giambi and New England Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo, are on the government's exhibits list.

The Giambi brothers, former Giants outfielder Benard and Izzo are among those who are expected to testify they received performance-enhancing substances from Anderson, along with instructions about how to administer them.

A former BALCO vice president is expected to testify that entries for "Barry B" denoted Bonds' urine samples, which were tested for steroids.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston still must determine whether she will allow Bonds' three positive test results for anabolic steroids in 2000 and 2001, along with BALCO logs and ledgers as evidence because of chain-of-custody issues. Anderson handled Bonds' samples and has promised he won't testify against the slugger.

Anderson has already spent more than 15 months in prison for previously declining to testify against Bonds. The government wrote in its trial memorandum that it will call Anderson to testify. If he declines to comply with his subpoena, "the government will . . . request that the court immediately conduct contempt proceedings and imprison Anderson until he either cures his contempt or the trial ends."

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lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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