SAN FRANCISCO — Colorado Rockies first baseman Jason Giambi and his brother testified Tuesday that Barry Bonds’ personal trainer supplied them with performance-enhancing drugs.
The two were the first athletes called to testify at the Bonds perjury trial, which is in its second week.
Appearing calm, Jason Giambi testified that he met trainer Greg Anderson after the 2002 season while both were traveling through Japan with a U.S. all-star team.
When they returned to the states, Anderson had Giambi’s blood tested and it turned up positive for a steroid that Major League Baseball was planning to test for during the 2003 season.
“Anderson told me that would trip a Major League Baseball test and that I should take something else,” Giambi said.
Giambi said he paid Anderson a total of about $10,000 for several shipments of steroids known as “the clear” and “the cream” designed to evade detection starting in late 2002 and through the beginning of the 2003 baseball season. Syringes and a calendar detailing when he should take the substances were included in the first shipment, Giambi testified.
During cross examination, Bonds attorney Cris Arguedas read Giambi’s 2003 grand jury testimony when he testified that Anderson had told him “the clear and the cream had steroid-like effects without being a steroid.”
Giambi agreed with that testimony.
Bonds lawyer Allen Ruby said that Bonds used the designer steroids, but believed Anderson when he told the slugger they were legal supplements.
Giambi’s brother, Jeremy Giambi, testified similarly. Jeremy Giambi played for four major league teams during a five-year career that ended in 2003.
Neither Giambi provided direct testimony about Bonds. Instead, prosecutors hope to use their testimony — and that of other players — to show that Anderson was a well-known steroids dealer. Anderson is in jail for refusing to testify at the trial.
Several other athletes are expected to testify about their relationship with Anderson this week.
Bonds, the major league record-holder for home runs in a career (762) and a season (73), has pleaded not guilty to four charges that he lied to a grand jury when he denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs. He also pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstruction.
Before the Giambis’ afternoon testimony, former San Francisco Giants trainer Stan Conte testified that Bonds added significant muscle mass before the 2000 season. Conte said he noticed acne on the slugger’s back, which prosecutors allege is a side effect of steroid use.
Conte, who is now the Los Angeles Dodgers head trainer, told the jury that Bonds viewed him and the medical department as “spies” for the owners.
Conte said he suggested to general manager Brian Sabean and manager Dusty Baker at spring training in 2000 that Bonds’ trainers, Anderson and Harvey Shields, should be barred from the Giants training room and clubhouse.
Conte said that Sabean told Conte to evict the trainers himself. Conte testified that Sabean remained silent when he asked the general manager to back him if Bonds complained. Conte testified that he understood from Sabean’s silence that he didn’t have the general manager’s backing and he dropped the subject.
At the end of the day, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston decided to take no action regarding the testimony Monday of Kimberly Bell. Bell, Bonds’ former mistress, conceded that she exaggerated when she told the grand jury that Bonds’ testicles shrank at the end of their nine-year relationship. On Monday, Bell testified they did shrink, but not as dramatically as previously portrayed.
Bonds’ attorneys were seeking an instruction from the judge telling the jury to disregard Bell’s testimony on Monday regarding the topic. Late Tuesday, the judge invited Bonds’ attorneys to submit written arguments if they want to attempt to change her mind.