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Anderson refuses to testify, but isn't ordered to jail

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds' personal trainer managed to
avoid more jail time for now, even though he again refused to
cooperate with a grand jury subpoena to testify about the slugger's
alleged steroid use.

During his fifth appearance before a federal grand jury
Thursday, Greg Anderson did answer some questions -- though none
substantive -- such as giving his name. Until now, he had answered
no questions.

Prosecutors argued that Anderson's answers were designed to clog
the process and promptly asked U.S. District Judge Williams Alsup
to throw him back behind bars for contempt of court. The trainer
already has spent more than two weeks in prison for refusing to
testify.

"This was a more cynical appearance than any before,"
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella said.

Alsup rejected the prosecution's request, saying he must review
the transcript of the brief grand jury hearing and hear arguments
from lawyers before deciding if Anderson should go back to jail. He
ordered Anderson, 40, to return to court Aug. 28.

The contempt hearing was the first time prosecutors publicly
revealed they are targeting Bonds in a performance-enhancing drug
probe linked to some of the world's top athletes, including Yankees
star Jason Giambi and sprinter Tim Montgomery.

Parrella asked Anderson, "Did you distribute anabolic steroids
to Barry Bonds?"

Anderson refused to answer.

Previous reports about the Bonds probe have been based on leaked
copies of grand jury transcripts in the investigation of the Bay
Area Laboratory Co-Operative that netted five convictions for
steroid distribution. Several elite athletes testified about their
steroid use and Parrella told the judge the new investigation
involved whether "some of those athletes committed perjury and/or
obstructed justice."

Parrella said prosecutors want Anderson to explain calendars
with doping schedules and other evidence seized from his house.

Despite the government's insistence that Anderson essentially
refused to testify yet again, Alsup allowed the trainer to go free
until transcripts could be produced and distributed to lawyers on
both sides.

Alsup also allowed Anderson's attorney Mark Geragos to make one
last argument for why his client shouldn't have to testify. Geragos
lost those arguments July 5 when Anderson was initially jailed for
refusing to testify.

"There is a substantial difference between this time and last
time," Geragos said.

Numerous grand jury leaks have left Anderson mistrustful that
his testimony will be kept confidential, Geragos said. It would
violate a deal struck in December to plead guilty to steroids
distribution and money laundering, in which Anderson specifically
stated he wouldn't cooperate with the government.

But Alsup has already rejected those arguments as well as a
third claim Geragos intends to renew, which is that Anderson was a
target of an illegal wiretap. A federal appeals court also rejected
the wiretap argument.

Anderson spent 15 days in prison last month for refusing to
testify, but was freed after that grand jury's term expired.

He also served three months in prison and three months of home
detention after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money
laundering stemming from the government's investigation of BALCO,
which allegedly supplied Bonds and other athletes with
performance-enhancing drugs.

Government lawyers are investigating whether Bonds lied under
oath when he told an earlier grand jury he didn't know whether the
substances Anderson gave him were steroids.

The grand jury investigation also reportedly is focused on
whether the San Francisco Giants outfielder paid taxes on the sale
of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sports memorabilia.

The New York Times reported last month that the grand jury is
also looking into the possible involvement of Trevor Graham, the
track coach of sprinters Marion Jones and Justin Gatlin, the
100-meter co-world record holder who tested positive this year for
elevated testosterone.

Some legal experts see Anderson as the key to proving the
perjury allegations, since Bonds reportedly testified the trainer
gave him two substances that fit the description of "the cream"
and "the clear" -- two drugs linked to BALCO.

In 2003, Bonds reportedly testified to the grand jury
investigating BALCO that he believed the substances were flaxseed
oil and arthritis balm, not steroids.

Anderson's not the only one facing jail time for refusing to
testify. In a separate grand jury probe, San Francisco Chronicle
reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada were ordered to name
the sources who leaked grand jury transcripts they used to write a
book on Bonds' alleged steroid use.

The reporters have said they would go to jail rather than reveal
their source or sources.