BALCO Investigators Entitled to Anonymous 2003 Test Results
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned three lower court decisions, and in a 2-to-1 decision, ruled that federal prosecutors could use the names and urine samples of the 5-7% of players who tested positive as part of Major League Baseball’s anonymous survey testing in 2003.
When federal investigators raided the testing labs for the results of 10 players linked to BALCO, they also seized computer files containing the test results of the other players not named in the government’s subpoena and warrants. Investigators were previously unable to determine who the other players were as each player was assigned a code number to be matched with his name to ensure confidentiality. The government can now match those codes with the names and use that information in its investigation.
In his statement before congress in Sept. 2005, Donald Fehr said he believed the number of positive tests in 2003 was in the 80’s, Will Carroll has reported the number to be 96. Due to the nature of multiple and random testing it is likely that some of the positive test results would have been from the same player. This is only to describe what they’re dealing with.
There has been the justifiable speculation at Fox Sports and ESPN (among many others) that the government will try to use the evidence to further their perjury case against Barry Bonds. Bonds admitted using The Cream and The Clear, designer BALCO steroids, so a positive test for those substances wouldn’t aid the government’s case. On the other hand, a positive test for another substance would be a major blow to Bonds, as would more positive tests for the BALCO drugs by other players. It’s unclear whether or not investigators could retest the samples for The Clear and The Cream, but discovering more players using BALCO drugs would further undermine Bonds’ story.
Realistically though it’s unlikely this information will have much effect on Bonds. Bonds was likely using the undectable BALCO drugs in 2003 and Anderson seemed to have left a paper trail that matched BALCO’s when it came to Bonds and other players (listed below) called to testify such as Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Benito Santiago and all but Piezinski reportedly used the The Cream and The Clear.
If nothing else the government could subpoena the players that tested positive, and in an effort to track down steroid dealers, demand the players reveal the source of their drugs. Given how freely the information from this investigation has been leaked to the media, it seems likely now that these names too will be leaked. It will be a scene like the BALCO subpoenas in 2004 if they are called to testify in court, except everyone will know exactly why they are there this time.
10 Players Whose Test Results Were Likely Subpoenaed by the BALCO Grand Jury in 2003
These ten players either testified or were the subject of testimony and court documents during the BALCO hearings and were presumably at least part of the subpoenas and search warrants exectued for 10 players’ anonymous test results from 2003.
Barry Bonds – subpoenaed, testified
Gary Sheffield – subpoenaed, testified
Jason Giambi – subpoenaed, testified
Armandos Rios – subpoenaed, testified
Benito Santiago – subpoenaed, testified
Jeremy Giambi – subpoenaed, testified
Bobby Estalella – subpoenaed, testified
Randy Velarde – implicated
Marvin Bernard – implicated
AJ Peirzynski – subpoenaed, questioned*
*Pierzynski was subpoenaed and questioned by government attorneys but was not called to testify.