Barry Bonds’ BALCO Testimony Released, Judge Orders Rewrite of Indictment
At a hearing in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Judge Susan Illston ruled that the indictment put forth by the government was vague and needed to be redrafted. In the course of the hearing the judge also ordered that the full transcript of Bonds’ 2003 grand jury testimony be unsealed.
Judge Illston ruled that the indictment need not contain multiple statements that the government believes are lies for each of the 5 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice against Bonds. The indictment cited 19 different occasions where Bonds is accused of lying divided among the five counts.
The now unsealed testimony was first reported by Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada of the San Francisco Chronicle in December 2004 (and later in Game of Shadows), but the full document was never released.
The 152 page document contains evidence of at least two drug tests taken through BALCO which Bonds apparently failed. Lawyers for the government cited numerous test results, calendars and other documents with names such as “Barry B” or “BB” or “Barry Bond” or “Bonds, Barry.”
As previously reported, when shown test results from Quest Diagnostic Incorporated sent to BALCO president, Victor Conte, Bonds maintained he had never used steroids.
Q: Okay. So I’ve got to ask, Mr. Bonds. There’s this number associated on a document with your name, and corresponding to Barry B. on the other document, and it does have these two listed anabolic steroids as testing positive in connection with it… So I’m going to ask you in the weeks and months leading up to November 2000, were you taking steroids?
Bonds was confronted with documentation of an additional failed drug test, from Specialty Labs and sent to BALCO attention Jim Valente, from January 2001. The document had the initials B.B. and Bonds’ date of birth and contained the following “discussion.”
“The percentage of total testosterone in unbound state, percent free testosterone, cannot be calculated since the free testosterone level is greater than the highest detectable concentration.”
Bonds was walked through the details of the document then questioned.
Q. Okay. So, again, let me ask you in January 2001, do you know why BALCO would have been testing you for your testosterone levels?
A. I have no idea.
BALCO said they were testing the blood to check your levels. I just — like I said, I never went to BALCO. Greg just came up. I had my doctor at the house. He came in with the vials, my doctor drew the blood, we just gave it to Greg. Greg went down there and dealt with it.
Q. Do you know why your testosterone would have been — according to this result — higher than the level the normal range as indicated for males 29 to 49 years? Do you know why that would have been?
A. I don’t understand this piece of paper. I’ve never seen it before, once again. So, I would not be able to answer that question because I don’t understand how that works.
And I don’t understand if some people may have more testosterone levels then others. And I just — I can’t honestly believe just because this piece of paper says something that there’s a problem. Everyone is different.
The testimony seems to indicate that BALCO had Bonds’ tested for anabolic steroids and/or testosterone levels on more than the two occasions mentioned above. It’s a bit hard to follow at times, but clearly BALCO was testing Bonds for banned drugs over the course of several years and it appears that the only two that were conclusively positive tests are the ones referenced above.
If nothing else, Bonds was consistent. He stated repeatedly that thought BALCO was just testing his “levels,” stating or implying that these were vitamin and mineral levels, and that he never paid BALCO or his former trainer, Greg Anderson for anything.