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Players testify Bonds' trainer supplied them with steroids

Jason Giambi said he paid about $10,000 to Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds' personal trainer, who supplied him with steroids. Two former players also took the stand. Jurors were instructed not to infer that Bonds was also taking such substances.

March 30, 2011|By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
  • Jason Giambi, right, autographs a ball for a fan outside the federal courthouse. Giambi said he paid Greg Anderson about $10,000 for steroids.
Jason Giambi, right, autographs a ball for a fan outside the federal courthouse.… (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press )

Reporting from San Francisco -- Colorado Rockies first baseman Jason Giambi and two former major league baseball players testified Tuesday that the personal trainer of slugger Barry Bonds supplied them with steroids.

The trainer, Greg Anderson, has refused to testify in Bonds' federal trial and was taken into custody last week. Jurors have been instructed not to draw inferences about Anderson's absence.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, who is presiding over the Bonds' trial, told jurors Tuesday that they were not to infer from the players' testimony that Bonds was using the same substances. She said the players' testimony was presented for the purpose of showing how Anderson distributed steroids.

Giambi, his brother Jeremy Giambi and former San Francisco Giants outfielder Marvin Benard each testified that Anderson sold them performance enhancing drugs that he said would not be detectable in drug testing. They said they had their discussions with Anderson when Bonds was not present.

The three were witnesses before a 2003 grand jury that was investigating steroid distribution. Bonds, who also testified before that grand jury, is on trial on charges that he lied to that grand jury when he testified he did not knowingly use steroids. Bonds holds the record for most career home runs with 762.

Jason Giambi said he met Anderson through Bonds during a trip to Japan in November 2002 for an all star game. Giambi said he "was picking Greg's brain" in the locker room in Japan to find out about Bonds' training.

Anderson told him that he could determine through testing whether someone was deficient in vitamins or minerals, Giambi said. After returning to the United States, Giambi visited Anderson in the Bay Area. On Anderson's instructions, Giambi said, he provided a blood and urine sample for testing.

The first baseman said Anderson later telephoned him and told him he had tested positive for a steroid. That was in December 2002, and Major League Baseball had decided to start testing players for certain steroids the following year.

Giambi said Anderson told him the steroid would show up in testing, "and I should look into taking something else." So Anderson mailed Giambi a package that the player said contained testosterone, syringes and a calendar.

He said Anderson told him "if I needed human growth hormone he could send it to me, but I told him I had it already."

Anderson provided instructions on how and when to the take the testosterone, which Giambi said he injected into his buttocks. About a month later, Giambi testified, Anderson sent Giambi another package, which the player said contained "the clear" and "the cream." Prosecutors have said those substances were illegal steroids that Anderson had been giving to Bonds.

Giambi said he paid Anderson a total of about $10,000 for the monthly packages. He stopped taking the drugs in August 2003, Giambi testified, after he "tore up" his knee while sliding. Giambi said he "didn't find much" benefit from Anderson's drugs.

He told the jury that Anderson used a phony name as the sender on some of the packages, and that Giambi sensed a need for secrecy. He said he thought he should "be quiet about it."

Under cross examination, Giambi agreed that he had told the grand jury in 2003 that Anderson had described "the clear" and "the cream" as having steroid-like effects without actually being steroids.

"Anderson referred to it as an alternative to steroids that would be non-detectable on a test and would have steroid-like properties," Giambi testified.

During a brief hallway interview, Giambi stressed he was "not testifying against" Bonds. "I was subpoenaed," he said. "I had no choice."

After leaving the stand, Giambi passed his brother, Jeremy, who was on his way into the courtroom to testify.

Jeremy Giambi said his brother put him in touch with Anderson, who told him "he had some access to alternative undetectable steroids."

The former Boston Red Sox player said he had a blood and urine sample sent to Anderson, who called him and suggested "it would be a good idea" to use performance enhancing drugs.

He said that Anderson sent him a box of vitamins, human growth hormone, some testosterone, and "the cream and the clear," which Giambi said Anderson described as "alternative or undetectable steroids."

He said he never met with Anderson or received more packages after deciding the substances were "basically worthless."

Former Giants outfielder Benard then testified that in the late 1990s, after suffering an injury and while in Mexico for winter ball, he purchased a steroid and some syringes. He testified he had heard "guys in the club house" talking about it.

He said he later told Anderson, whom he had met through Bonds, about the steroid, and Anderson told him the Mexican drug was used "mostly for animals." Anderson "wanted to let me know that it was not the best thing to use," Benard testified.

He said Anderson gave him a form of the steroid intended for humans, and that Anderson once injected him with it in 1999 or 2000. He also testified that Anderson supplied him with "the clear" and "the cream."

Benard said those steroids made him "stiff as a two by four, tight," akin to the feeling after a hard workout. When he told Anderson, Bonds' trainer said, "'Here, try something else, "' Benard testified.

The "something else" was a human growth hormone that Benard said he injected into his abdomen.

Prior to the players' testimony, Stan Conte, the Giants' former trainer, testified that he did not like the looks of the tattooed Anderson and wanted him banned from the Giants club house about a decade ago. But Conte, who is now the Los Angeles Dodgers' trainer, said management indicated they would not back him up if Bonds objected.

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