Barry Bonds Fingered In Steroid Probe

Agents: BALCO figures named star athletes during 2003 IRS raids

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Barry Bonds Fingered In Steroid Probe

NOVEMBER 1--Key figures in the BALCO steroid case last year fingered Barry Bonds and other athletes as having received illegal performance-enhancing drugs from the California company, according to Internal Revenue Service investigative reports.

During raids last September, BALCO president Victor Conte identified 27 athletes who received illegal steroids--known as "the clear" and "the cream"--from his firm. Included on that roster were baseball players like Bonds, Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi, and track and field stars Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones.

BALCO vice president James Valente also told federal agents that Bonds received steroids, noting that the San Francisco Giant "does not like how 'the clear' makes him feel." In addition, Valente told agents that Giambi once tested positive for steroids.

Investigators also interviewed Greg Anderson, Bonds's personal trainer, who admitted giving "a small amount of steroids to people" and providing some athletes with testosterone and human growth hormone. Anderson denied, however, giving steroids to Bonds, a childhood friend. The IRS interview with Anderson abruptly ended after agents searching his home discovered file folders labeled with the names of professional baseball players and containing apparent "details of steroid administration."

When confronted with the folders--one of which carried Bonds's name--Anderson "stated that he didn't think he should be talking anymore because he didn't want to go to jail," according to one report.

The IRS memos were filed in U.S. District Court Friday by prosecutors handling the federal criminal case against Conte, Valente, Anderson, and track coach Remi Korchemny. The defendants are seeking to have the interview memoranda suppressed, claiming that the IRS documents incorrectly attribute damaging statements to them. (12 pages)