Trainer says he supplied slugger

Updated: October 19, 2004, 2:01 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds' personal trainer says in a secretly recorded conversation that the record-breaking slugger used an undetectable performance-enhancing drug during the 2003 season, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In an article published Saturday, the Chronicle reports that Greg Anderson, Bonds' boyhood friend and a defendant in the BALCO steroids conspiracy case, provided Bonds with steroids that could be taken the day of a test and still not be detected.

The Chronicle reports that it received the recording from a source familiar with Anderson who asked not to be indentified, and that two people who know Anderson listened to the tapes and said the voice is his.

The paper does not identify the other voices on the recording or report who made the recording and the circumstances under which it was made.

Anderson's attorney, J. Tony Serra, said Friday that Anderson "categorically denies" providing Bonds with illegal substances. After listening to portions of the recording, Serra said he couldn't identify the voice as Anderson's.

Bonds' attorney, Michael Rains, said "this is as simply another below-the-belt bash of Barry Bonds, which as I understand it is supposedly the product of what has to be an illegally recorded telephone conversation supposedly between Greg Anderson and an anonymous criminal."

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig told reporters at the American League Championship Series game in Boston that the story is "just a further manifestation of why we need a very strict steroid policy. Until we have one, we'll have this kind of situation."

"I'm concerned," Selig said, cautioning that "these are merely allegations. I'm not ready to pass judgment."

But he said the issue is detracting from the game.

"Here we are in Game 3 of the Red Sox-Yankees -- people have waited for this all year -- Cardinals and Houston, and what are we sitting here and talking about?" Selig said. "This is not good for the sport. This is not good for any of the parties involved, and, of course, I include the fans."

In the recording, the person said to be Anderson says that not only is the substance provided Bonds undetectable, but that through contacts in the testing labs, he would know when Bonds was going to be tested, a claim that Manfred refuted.

During the 9-minute, 19-second recording, there are background conversations that can't be made out, and some of Anderson's comments are not audible, according to the Chronicle. However, the newspaper reports that many of Anderson's comments make it clear that the subject of the conversation is Bonds.

Bonds has also been a subject of interest to federal investigators probing the BALCO lab in Burlingame, Calif., and international sports-doping, the Chronicle notes. On the recording, Anderson indicates that the drug he was giving Bonds was the same as the drug being used by unnamed Olympians who had passed multiple drug tests.

Anderson, BALCO founder Victor Conte and two other men were indicted in February on steroid conspiracy charges for allegedly distributing drugs that included a supposedly undetectable steroid called "the clear" to stars of baseball, the National Football League and Olympic track and field. They have pleaded not guilty.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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