Book: Conte urged athletes to keep quiet about 'roids

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds juiced out of jealousy, Gary
Sheffield followed his training buddy's lead and Jason Giambi did
it to please his perfectionist father who loved the game, according
to a new book.

"Game of Shadows," which centers on Bonds' allegedly extensive
drug regimen -- steroids, human growth hormone, insulin and more --
also undercuts Sheffield's claims that he took designer steroids

The book says BALCO's performance-enhancing drugs were used by
several athletes, including track stars Marion Jones and Tim
Montgomery, NFL players such as Bill Romanowski, and sluggers
including Bonds, Sheffield and Giambi.

Sheffield has admitted that he used a cream two years ago but
said he did not know it contained illegal steroids. The authors,
however, say Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, put Sheffield on
injectable testosterone and a human growth hormone in 2002, and
later sold him designer steroids known as the "cream" and the

Sheffield adopted Bonds' heavy training program when he visited
the San Francisco star after the 2001 season and lived in his home
in Hillsborough, Calif., for two months, according to the book.

Though the two had a personal falling out, Sheffield wanted to
maintain a relationship with Anderson so he could keep getting the
drugs, the authors wrote.

On Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., Sheffield denied using any drugs
mentioned in the book.

"What can I do? I'm not going to defend myself my whole life,"
he said. "It doesn't matter to me. I don't have anything to say.
No need to. It is what it is."

The book describes how Bonds started using steroids because he
was jealous of the attention paid to Mark McGwire's home run race
with Sammy Sosa in 1998, and felt he needed to bulk up
significantly to compete with the St. Louis Cardinals' slugger.
Bonds broke McGwire's single-season record with 73 home runs in

Bonds used a vast array of performance-enhancing drugs for at
least five seasons beginning in 1998, according to the book,
written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters. Excerpts from the
book, scheduled for release Thursday, were released earlier this

The book also says Bonds tried to shield himself from the
unfolding BALCO scandal. It quotes Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative
defense lawyer Troy Ellerman as saying attorneys from the
supplement company met "three or four times" with Michael Rains,
an attorney for Bonds.

"There wasn't any payment involved, there weren't any threats,
there wasn't any quid pro quo, but he made it very clear that Barry
would appreciate it if we kept him out of it. And we had several
discussions about how Mike Rains knew what the score was -- and that
is that he knew Barry was using," Ellerman said in the book.

"Shadows" also claims BALCO founder Victor Conte encouraged
clients to keep quiet and claim they were taking flaxseed oil if
asked by authorities about their use of a designer steroid known as
"the clear," among the designer steroids distributed by BALCO
that were said to be undetectable.

Bonds reportedly told a grand jury investigating BALCO in 2003
that his trainer said he was giving him flaxseed oil and arthritis
balm. Bonds didn't acknowledge reporters while getting dressed for
the Giants' exhibition game against the Los Angeles Angels on
Wednesday night.

Giambi, the 2000 American League MVP when he played with
Oakland, developed a relationship with Anderson during a baseball
exhibition trip to Japan in 2002, by which time he had signed with
the Yankees, the authors wrote.

The book said Giambi wanted to learn "what was Anderson doing
to keep Bonds playing at so high a level. Could Anderson help
Giambi, too?" Giambi later flew to Bay Area and met Anderson at a
gym, and that the pair went to the hospital to have Giambi's blood
drawn and take a blood and urine sample to BALCO.

The book said Giambi tested positive for Deca-Durabolin, and
that Anderson advised the slugger he would fail baseball's new drug
test, which was starting in the upcoming season.

Anderson then started Giambi on a cycle of testosterone, saying
the hormone would clear his system before he was tested by the
league. Calendars seized by government agents show Giambi took
drugs similar to Bonds.

"I have nothing to say. I haven't seen it," Giambi said at New
York Yankees camp in Tampa.

The book, which also implicates Giambi's brother Jeremy, said
Giambi wanted to succeed at baseball in part because of his
perfectionist father who loved the sport.

An unidentified lawyer quoted in the book claims Conte concocted
several "cover stories" following the raid, among them recasting
an alphabet code used for supplement distribution so that "C" on
doping calendars stood for Vitamin C, not the "cream."

Conte also reportedly told athletes never to admit that Conte
told them a substance was illegal or banned.

"Admit nothing, he advised," the book says, detailing the
period following the September 2003 federal raid of the BALCO firm
in Burlingame, Calif. "The government had nothing on him, and if
everyone just played dumb they could all beat the case."

A trial that could have forced dozens of athletes to testify in
open court was avoided when Conte and Anderson pleaded guilty in
July to conspiracy to distribute steroids and money laundering in a
deal with federal prosecutors.

Robert Holley, who represented Conte during the investigation,
said he would not comment on the accusations.

"It's such a can of worms that it would be unprofessional to
talk about it after a case was over," Holley said Wednesday.

Baseball did not have a joint drug agreement with the union
banning steroids and other performance-enhancing substances until
September 2002. Bonds, who has never failed a drug test given by
baseball, has previously denied using steroids.

The seven-time National League Most Valuable Player enters this
season with 708 homers, seven shy of passing Babe Ruth and 48 from
breaking Hank Aaron's career mark.

The book, based on a two-year investigation by San Francisco
Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, includes
an extensive summary of the authors' sources, including court
documents, affidavits filed by BALCO investigators, documents
written by federal agents, grand jury testimony, audio recordings
and interviews with more than 200 people.