October 16, 2004


Bonds used steroids in 2003, trainer says on secret recording: Slugger's lawyer sees 'another below-the-belt bash' (Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, October 16, 2004, SF Chronicle)

Barry Bonds was using an "undetectable" performance-enhancing drug during the 2003 baseball season, his weight trainer claimed in a conversation that was secretly recorded last year and provided to The Chronicle.

Trainer Greg Anderson, 38, who is Bonds' longtime friend and a defendant in the BALCO steroids conspiracy case, also said on the recording that he expected to receive advance warning before the San Francisco Giants superstar had to submit to a drug test under what was then baseball's new steroids- testing program.

The recording is the most direct evidence yet that Bonds used performance- enhancing drugs during his drive to break the storied record for career home runs. Major League Baseball banned the use of steroids beginning with the 2003 season. It has long been illegal to use them without a doctor's prescription.

"The whole thing is, everything that I've been doing at this point, it's all undetectable," Anderson said on the recording of the drug he was providing Bonds. "See the stuff I have, we created it, and you can't buy it anywhere else, can't get it anywhere else, but you can take it the day of (the test), pee, and it comes up perfect."

There was another reason the trainer was confident that Bonds' drug use would escape detection: Anderson said he would be tipped off a week or two before Bonds was subjected to steroid testing.

Gee, you mean he didn't just mature into a 24 inch necksize?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 16, 2004 6:01 PM

I am going to need more than the word of someone who would say anything to avoid spending the rest of his life in the hoosegow before I convict the guy who will break Aaron's HR record.

Posted by: Bart at October 16, 2004 6:04 PM

More than your own eyes?

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2004 6:12 PM

I may look at Bonds and think he's juiced but, without more, shouldn't he get the benefit of the doubt?

Posted by: Bart at October 16, 2004 6:26 PM

Not given the rest of the evidence.

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2004 6:31 PM

They shut down BALCO last winter, and no one in the big leauges hit more than 50 hr's this year. coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 16, 2004 6:37 PM


But Bonds had his greatest season nevertheless. It's harder to hit home runs when you get 232 walks. And Bonds still hit 45.

Posted by: Brian (MN) at October 16, 2004 6:43 PM

Nobody hit 50.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 16, 2004 9:49 PM

Bonds radically improved at an age where guys are supposed to retire. Hmm.

He also refues to let reporters photo him w/his shirt off. As [Canadian sprinter] Ben Johnson's trainer used to say, those in the know can spot a steroid user just by looking.

Posted by: ras at October 16, 2004 10:55 PM

In most any other sport Bonds would be suspended based on what we already know. In baseball, he could flunk several tests without being punished. Shame on Bud Selig, Don Fehr, and all of the baseball decision-makers. Shame.

Posted by: brian at October 17, 2004 12:36 AM


What is the rest of the evidence?

One of the reasons the baseballs were flying out is that they were more tightly wound. When Haiti went up in flames, the baseball manufacturers moved their operations to Honduras. The baseballs were made tighter and better by the workers. It took organized baseball about 3 years to recognize this and then instructions were sent to make a looser, less tightly wound baseball more like it was in previous years.

Bonds got better with age. So did Clemens. So did Nolan Ryan. It could easily just be a function of players recognizing that they could make ridiculous amounts of money as long as they could suit up, so they play longer. The evidence all points to guys lengthening their careers. How many over 35s are there in the majors today vs. 20 years ago? Just look at each team and you'll get my point.

Posted by: Bart at October 17, 2004 2:59 AM

Ken Caminiti died at age 41(?)...I've got Mark McGwire in the MLB Ghoul Pool...Whose got Bonds?

Posted by: Brian McKim at October 17, 2004 9:38 AM

Bonds' loyalty to his childhood friend and trainer could forever tarnish his tremendous accomplishments.

There is zero evidence to date that he was on steroids.

Posted by: JimGooding at October 17, 2004 4:35 PM


Nor that Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK.

Posted by: oj at October 17, 2004 4:52 PM

At this time, there is as much evidence Bonds has taken steroids as there is that Roger Maris took steroids or that George and Condi are having an affair.

Take the tremendous athlete Bonds was when he won his first MVP, now add four pounds of muscle a year -- easily achievable with consistent weight training and his megalomaniac power diet: the result is the Bonds of today.

This also doesn't mean he didn't do steroids, but, again, he certainly did not need steroids to achieve his build over a decade of diligent training.

Posted by: JimGooding at October 17, 2004 5:00 PM

Maris was a Balco client?

Posted by: oj at October 17, 2004 5:03 PM

The Balco connection is due to his childhood friend from his little league team being his trainer. It is, to me, certainly plausible that Bonds is not a steroid freak, large necksize or not.

I think many people want him to be discredited because he's such a major a**hole. This is why I hate defending the guy. But for the sake of baseball, I argue for the evidence at hand.

Keep in mind that steroid users Ken Caminiti and Lyle Alzedo were both very sick by Bonds' age, Bonds seems to be in the pink of health. Offered only as an incremental fact.

Posted by: JImGooding at October 18, 2004 10:11 AM


Who faked all the testimony and why?

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2004 10:58 AM

The only evidence at hand is a poor recording of murky origin that is ostensibly Bonds' friend saying Bonds used "the clear," an until-recently undetectable steroid. Bonds was tested a few weeks ago. The results will be interesting, but, if negative, still not proof of innocence. In fact, there can never be proof of innocence of steroid use going back indefinitely, so Bonds is screwed if he is, and has always been, clean.

Posted by: JimGooding at October 18, 2004 11:32 AM

Forgive me for thinking this interesting:

Maris avg home runs the 4 yrs before he hit 61:
24 hr
Maris percentage increase over previous 4 yrs when he hit 61:

Bonds avg home run the 4 yrs before he hit 73:
40 hr
Bonds percentage increase over previous 4 yrs when he hit 73:

who's the steroid freak?

Ruth avg home run the 4 full yrs before he hit 60 [minus an injury year when he hit only 25]:
42 hr
Ruth percentage increase over previous 4 yrs when he hit 60:

Posted by: JimGooding at October 18, 2004 5:13 PM

Maris did it in an expansion year.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2004 5:41 PM

Bonds moved into a ballpark with a short, wet right field porch.

Posted by: JimGooding at October 18, 2004 5:50 PM

and mainlining like a character in Trainspotting.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2004 6:07 PM