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Idaho magistrate recalls encounter with Bonds' trainer

4/7/2006 - MLB Barry Bonds

BOISE, Idaho -- A federal magistrate in Boise says it was
his duty as a citizen to help in baseball's investigation of
steroid use by reporting a 2002 chance meeting he had with a
longtime personal trainer for Barry Bonds.
Chief U.S. Magistrate Larry M. Boyle's involvement came to light
Thursday in a story published in the San Francisco Chronicle, which
had obtained from an unnamed source a copy of a letter written by
Boyle to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
Boyle mailed the letter to Selig on March 16, describing the
encounter with trainer Greg Anderson. Boyle had mailed an earlier
letter in 2004 about the meeting to U.S. Attorney Thomas Moss in
Boise. Boyle also included a copy of his itinerary with the letter
to Selig to establish the date he met Anderson.
On Thursday, Boyle confirmed he wrote the letters and gave
copies of them to The Idaho Statesman.
"If I had seen an automobile accident, or witnessed something
that was being investigated, no matter how big or how small, I have
a responsibility as a citizen of this country to report that
information," Boyle told the newspaper.
In the letters, Boyle describes a chance meeting he had with
Anderson while traveling in 2002. According to court records,
Anderson provided Bonds, Gary Sheffield and other baseball players
with banned drugs. Anderson recently completed a three-month term
in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2004 to money laundering
and a steroid distribution charge.
Boyle met Anderson on June 11, 2002, while flying from Boise to
Minneapolis to attend a judicial meeting, according to the letters.
"On the taxi/shuttle ride from the Minneapolis airport to my
hotel I sat across the aisle from a man who initially attracted my
attention because he was drinking a light brown, clear liquid from
a plastic milk gallon jug," Boyle wrote in his letter to Moss,
dated Feb. 26, 2004, The Idaho Statesman reported.
Boyle began a conversation with Anderson, who told Boyle he was
on his way to help Gary Sheffield overcome a hitting slump.
Sheffield, who played for the Atlanta Braves at the time, was in
Minneapolis for a game against the Minnesota Twins.
Boyle wrote that Anderson told him he was making the trip at the
request of his "best client," a reference to Bonds, Boyle later
discovered.
Boyle wrote: "I asked him what he did for the players. Anderson
explained that he will usually reserve the hotel exercise facility
and work privately with Sheffield on body mechanics, weights and
also take a blood or urine sample, test it to determine if his body
chemistry is what it should be, and then give him nutritional
supplements."
Boyle also wrote that Anderson said, "that when your friend and
best client asks you to help his friend, you do it."
Bonds has been under increased scrutiny over steroids use since
last month's release of "Game of Shadows," a book detailing his
alleged longtime regimen for using performance-enhancing drugs.
The Chronicle reported that after Anderson's visit, Sheffield
raised his batting average from below .260 to finish the season at
.307.
Boyle's encounter with Anderson occurred before the federal raid
on the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative in 2003. The Chronicle
reported that Boyle's letter supported some of Sheffield's
testimony before the BALCO grand jury in 2003.
Boyle wrote in the letter to Moss that he also asked Anderson
about steroids, and that Anderson replied: "Something to the
effect that the subject was overblown and not as big a problem as
reported in the news media."
In the letter to Selig, Boyle wrote that it appeared reasonable
to him to conclude that Bonds sent Anderson to Sheffield "for
whatever services he was rendering to professional athletes at that
time. If Bonds sent Anderson to Sheffield, it may be important to
determine whether there were others he assisted and the nature of
those services."
Selig recently announced an investigation into steroid use in
baseball to be headed by retired U.S. Sen. George Mitchell. Boyle
said he has not been contacted by the investigators.
In the letter to Selig, Boyle wrote that he is a "lifelong
baseball fan, a citizen, and a concerned parent and grandparent."