Report: Bonds failed amphetamine test

Updated: January 11, 2007, 1:42 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Barry Bonds failed a test for amphetamines last season and originally blamed it on a teammate, the Daily News reported Thursday.

Barry Bonds
Bonds is still under investigation as to whether he perjured himself when he testified in 2003 that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.

When first informed of the positive test, Bonds attributed it to a substance he had taken from teammate Mark Sweeney's locker, the New York City newspaper said, citing several unnamed sources.

"I have no comment on that," Bonds' agent Jeff Borris told the Daily News on Wednesday night.

"Mark was made aware of the fact that his name had been brought up," Sweeney's agent Barry Axelrod told the Daily News. "But he did not give Barry Bonds anything, and there was nothing he could have given Barry Bonds."

Bonds, who has always maintained he never has tested positive for illegal drug use, is already under investigation for lying about steroid use.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether the 42-year-old Bonds perjured himself when he testified in 2003 in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid distribution case that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs. The San Francisco Giants slugger told a 2003 federal grand jury that he believed his trainer Greg Anderson had provided him flaxseed oil and arthritic balm, not steroids.

Under baseball's amphetamines policy, which went into effect last season, players are not publicly identified for a first positive test. A second positive test for amphetamines results in a 25-game suspension. The first failed steroids test costs a player 50 games.

Bonds did not appeal the positive test, which made him subject to six drug tests by MLB over the next six months, according to the Daily News.

"We're not in a position to confirm or deny, obviously," MLB spokesman Rich Levin told the Daily News.

According to the newspaper, Sweeney learned of the Bonds' positive test from Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Orza told Sweeney, the paper said, that he should remove any troublesome substances from his locker and should not share said substances. Sweeney said there was nothing of concern in his locker, according to the Daily News' sources.

An AP message for Sweeney was not immediately returned late Wednesday.

The Giants are still working to finalize complicated language in the slugger's $16 million, one-year contract for next season -- a process that has lasted almost a month since he agreed to the deal Dec. 7 on the last day of baseball's winter meetings.

The language still being negotiated concerns the left fielder's compliance with team rules, as well as what would happen if he were to be indicted or have other legal troubles.

Borris has declined to comment on the negotiations. He didn't immediately return a message from the AP on Wednesday night.

The 42-year-old Bonds is set to begin his 15th season with the Giants only 22 home runs shy of surpassing Hank Aaron's career record of 755.

Bonds, considered healthy again following offseason surgery on his troublesome left elbow, has spent 14 of his 21 big-league seasons with San Francisco and helped the Giants draw 3 million fans in all seven seasons at their waterfront ballpark.

After missing all but 14 games in 2005 following three operations on his right knee, Bonds batted .270 with 26 homers and 77 RBIs in 367 at-bats in 2006. He passed Babe Ruth to move into second place on the career home run list May 28.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press