Lawyer: Feds trying to make example of Bonds

Updated: April 5, 2004, 3:53 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Barry Bonds' lawyer believes the federal government is singling out the San Francisco Giants slugger in the Bay Area steroids scandal.

Michael Rains told The New York Times that the federal government appears intent on trying to set a perjury trap for Bonds.

"I think they're trying to make an example out of him," Rains was quoted as saying by The Times.

Efforts by The Associated Press to contact Rains at his office Sunday were unsuccessful.

Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, was among four men indicted last month on charges of illegally supplying performance-enhancing drugs from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. All four pleaded innocent.

Bonds has denied that he used steroids, an assertion his lawyer made again to The Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday that urine samples given last season by seven major league baseball players for testing were being sought by a federal grand jury examining the BALCO case.

Previously, the paper reported, it was not known whether actual samples, or the written results, remained from last season's tests.

That would allow investigators to determine whether the players used THG, which was allegedly given to athletes by BALCO.

It was logical to assume that Bonds told the grand jury during testimony last fall that he did not use steroids, Rains said. But if a urine test showed that he had tested positive for THG or some other steroid, Bonds could then become vulnerable to a charge of perjury over his testimony to the grand jury.

THG was not detectable last baseball season, but a screening for it has since been devised and could be applied to a retesting of Bonds' sample.

"I've always said this is the 'Barry Bonds Show,' " Rains said in a telephone interview. "I do think they're going after Barry."

The other players who testified before the grand jury were Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Benito Santiago, Armando Rios and Bobby Estalella.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press