Bonds' attorney wants protection from feds

Updated: June 11, 2006, 1:30 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Barry Bonds is willing to cooperate with Major League Baseball's investigation of performance-enhancing drugs in the game provided the information isn't used against him by federal prosecutors, Bonds' attorney told the New York Daily News.

The New York Post reported Friday that Bonds' attorney, Michael Rains, received a letter last month from former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, hired by commissioner Bud Selig in March to investigate steroids in baseball, saying that he wants to interview the San Francisco Giants left fielder as part of baseball's investigation.

"I'd like Barry to cooperate with Sen. Mitchell," Rains was quoted as saying to the Daily News. "He'd like to cooperate. We believe Sen. Mitchell's investigation will be fair, thorough and impartial.

"But here's the problem: Anything that happens there can become fodder for the federal government and fodder for another book that will make reporters rich."

A federal grand jury in San Francisco is investigating whether Bonds lied under oath about using the performance-enhancing drug known as "the clear" during his grand jury testimony that led to the indictment of four people connected to BALCO.

Bonds could also face charges of tax evasion.

"I thoroughly distrust the federal government's commitment to protecting anonymity," Rains told the Daily News. "I've been asking for four years if this investigation is done. All I've ever got was double talk."