Materials taken from trainer's home

Updated: November 15, 2003, 11:57 AM ET
By Peter Keating | ESPN The Magazine

Greg Anderson, the personal trainer for Giants slugger Barry Bonds, is a target of the grand jury investigating BALCO Laboratories, his lawyer told ESPN.com.

Anderson originally was questioned by federal officials following a raid -- led by IRS agents -- on BALCO's Burlingame, Calif., headquarters on Sept. 3. Anderson was not at BALCO at the time of the raid, but was questioned at a nearby gym.

Two days later, Anderson's home, also in Burlingame, was searched by authorities.

BALCO is at the heart of the ongoing scandal involving athletes and the recently discovered substance tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), which the FDA has designated an illegal steroid.

Bonds, scheduled to testify on Dec. 4, is among at least 40 athletes who will provide testimony to the grand jury prior to the decision on whether to return indictments against any of the targets.

Law enforcement officials have refused to discuss their actions involving BALCO, but since last month, a federal grand jury in San Francisco has been looking into BALCO's financial activities. That grand jury also is scrutinizing Anderson.

"I have been informed that he is a target," said his lawyer, William Rapoport.

Rapoport also told ESPN.com that the federal agents who searched Anderson's home confiscated material. But Rapoport was "not at liberty to say" what it was.

Before the raids, Anderson had been a fixture on the Bay Area fitness circuit. But in the past 10 weeks, Anderson has vacated the condo that authorities searched while maintaining an extremely low profile. He's declined to comment on the investigation.

"He has moved, but he is available to me," Rapoport said about his client. "I tell all clients of mine who are targets of a criminal investigation to act as though they have duct tape over their mouths."

BALCO, which custom designs nutritional and mineral regimens for athletes, has more to worry about than the grand jury.

On Oct. 16, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) identified the company and its president, Victor Conte, as the source of THG. Conte denies the allegation.

A number of athletes, including European 100-meter champion Dwain Chambers and U.S. shotput champion Kevin Toth -- both BALCO clients -- have since tested positive for the previously undetectable chemical.

Anderson's connection to Conte and BALCO remains unclear.

"They don't know each other well," Rapoport told ESPN.com "BALCO did not pay Mr. Anderson anything, and to the extent Mr. Anderson paid BALCO for anything, it was for supplements."

Of course, Anderson and Conte do have at least one high-profile client in common: Bonds.

The Giants star has consulted with Conte since the winter of 2000. As for Anderson, the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that Bonds was "shocked about Anderson's name coming up [in the investigation] because he had grown up with the man."

The June issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine, in which Bonds extolled the benefits of working with Conte, featured a photo of all three men smiling. Conte was standing behind a seated Bonds and Anderson with his hands clasping their shoulders, while Bonds and Anderson wore hats and shirts advertising ZMA, a popular zinc-magnesium supplement developed and marketed by Conte.

Rapoport also is a link between Conte and Anderson, though the Redwood City, Calif., criminal defense attorney says the connection is not significant.

In the late 1990s, Rapoport worked for Conte and BALCO on what he calls "a very quick project that lasted a month, maybe 45 days." Conte contested Rapoport's bill, and in January 1999, he requested arbitration to settle their fee dispute, according to San Mateo County records.

In February 2000, an arbitration hearing was held, but Conte failed to appear, and the arbitrator awarded Rapoport $3,396.82. Rapoport had to return to court in November 2000 to get Conte to pay.

But Rapoport now says that the debt "has been satisfied," and that Conte is no longer his client.

Regarding Anderson, Rapoport told ESPN.com, "He was not referred to me by anybody having anything to do with BALCO."

Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.

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