Saturday, May 1, 2004

Bonds' trainer will get to retest materials



By Rob Gloster
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - Lawyers for Barry Bonds' personal trainer will get a chance to retest suspected steroids taken from his apartment and car in a raid last fall.

Prosecutors said in court Friday that they have agreed in principle to hand over the evidence, which they claim includes vials of suspected steroids and human growth hormone.

Details of the agreement are to be finalized by May 14, and attorneys for personal trainer Greg Anderson say they expect their own chemical analysis of the materials to take about two to three weeks after that.

Anderson is one of four men charged in a drug-distribution ring allegedly centered around the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. All four have pleaded innocent. No athlete has been charged, and Bonds repeatedly has denied using steroids.

Among the items prosecutors said were seized included 10 vials labeled as Serostim, a synthetic human growth hormone, and a 30-tablet bottle of the steroid Andriol - with just one red pill inside. Also found was a vial labeled depo-testosterone and another labeled Enantat, both steroids.

Prosecutors previously have claimed they also found $63,920 in cash in a locked safe at Anderson's residence, and that "some of the money was broken up into separate envelopes with the first names of known athlete clients written on them."

"In addition, agents found files identifying specific athletes," the government has claimed. "These files contained calendars, which appear to contain references to daily doses of steroids and growth hormones."

Prosecutor Jeff Nedrow said in court Friday that the retesting of urine samples from major league baseball players, which were seized in an April 8 federal raid on a Las Vegas drug-testing lab, is still in legal limbo.

Nedrow said a motion to block the testing has been filed in a federal court in Los Angeles, but did not provide any details about who is trying to block that testing.

Baseball's players' association earlier filed a motion seeking to quash a subpoena for those test results. The subpoena sought test results from Bonds and about 10 other players, but it is unclear whether urine samples from Bonds and the others were taken in the Las Vegas raid.

Anderson's lawyers filed two motions this week - one seeking results from those urine tests, and another accusing the Bush administration of "a political agenda" in the BALCO case.

The motion focuses on "the questionable timing of this indictment in the height of the Summer Olympics and baseball season as well as an election year."

Prosecutors again tried Friday to schedule an early trial, saying the government was ready for a mid-June trial. But lawyers for all four defendants said that's far too soon, and U.S. District Judge Susan Illston agreed - and set another status hearing in the case for June 25.

"I think there is a whole thicket of issues that need to be worked out, and that is not going to be able to be done in a huge hurry," Illston said.

Tony Serra, one of Anderson's attorneys, said outside court he hopes the trial is delayed until after the baseball season.

Serra also said that Anderson remains Bonds' personal trainer and that the childhood friends still "enjoy a very close relationship."

The three other men charged with distributing steroids such as THG to top athletes are BALCO founder Victor Conte, BALCO vice president James Valente and track coach Remi Korchemny.

Bonds and dozens of other athletes testified last fall before the grand jury that ultimately indicted the four men.

On Thursday, two U.S. hammer throwers who tested positive last summer for THG had their appeals rejected and were suspended from competition for two years. Melissa Price and John McEwen were among four U.S. athletes who tested positive for THG last year.

Also Thursday, Britain was stripped of its silver medal in the 400-meter relay at last year's world championships after sprinter Dwain Chambers decided not to appeal his two-year doping ban. Chambers flunked a random test for THG last summer, and has blamed it on nutritional supplements he said were provided by BALCO.




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