Giants trainer Conte subpoenaed to testify in probe
SAN FRANCISCO -- The head athletic trainer for the San Francisco Giants was told to appear before a federal grand jury investigating whether Barry Bonds lied about his connection to the BALCO steroids scandal, a newspaper reported.
Bonds' popularity dropping
Barry Bonds is well on his way to becoming the sporting world's most hated personality.
According to the latest Davie-Brown Index, which was conducted earlier this month, Bonds' appeal among the U.S. population is dropping precipitously.
According to the DBI, a celebrity polling service, only 52.7 percent say they like the Giants slugger. That's down from the 60.2 percent who said they liked Bonds just two months before.
To read the rest of ESPN.com sports business writer Darren Rovell's blog,
Stan Conte, who is not related to Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative owner Victor Conte, was subpoenaed to appear in a San Francisco federal courtroom April 27, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday, citing three anonymous sources familiar with the investigation.
Conte is scheduled to appear before the grand jury on the same day as Bonds' orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Arthur Ting. The grand jury subpoenaed Ting's medical records related to Bonds a year ago, the Chronicle reported.
The panel has been hearing testimony for more than a month about whether the outfielder lied to a separate grand jury in December 2003 about his connection to BALCO.
Bonds addressed the latest probe publicly for the first time Tuesday on his television show, "Bonds on Bonds."
"I knew I was still being investigated, but I didn't know that was particularly coming," he said..
Bonds added that he would not repeat what he told the BALCO grand jury more than two years ago, saying he still stands by those comments.
"I said what I said in the grand jury testimony," he said. "That's what I stated and that's what I will live by for the rest of my life."
Bonds was one of a string of elite athletes called as witnesses in the steroids conspiracy case. They were granted partial immunity, protected from prosecution as long as they testified truthfully.
According to excerpts of the testimony previously reported by the Chronicle, Bonds testified that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who later pleaded guilty in a steroid-distribution ring but said he didn't know they were steroids.
Bonds said Greg Anderson, his personal trainer, told him the substances he used were the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis.
The substances Bonds described were similar to ones known as "the clear" and "the cream," two steroids at the center of the BALCO scandal.
Investigators seized calendars that recorded schedules for Bonds' use of those drugs, as well as human growth hormone, clomid, insulin and other steroids and prosecutors believe those documents contradict Bonds' testimony, the Chronicle reported.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office refused to comment Tuesday.
Stan Conte is in his 15th season with the team and seventh as its head trainer. His subpoena represents the first time a Giants employee other than a player has been called to testify in connection with the government probe.
Conte said "the Giants policy is not to comment on direct or indirect questions about the grand jury." A message left for Larry Baer, executive vice president for the Giants, was not immediately returned nor were messages left for Conte's lawyer.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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