Since the BALCO Labs scandal broke almost 6 years ago millions of words have been written, and even more words spoken, about Barry Bonds and his relationship with this criminal enterprise. Now we can read for ourselves what all the fuss has been about.
There are so many ridiculous inconsistencies with regard to Bonds’ story it’s tough to pick the one “most ridiculous” statement. But there's so much great stuff here, and the info is so fresh, let's just dive in and take a look at what happened over 4 years ago.
From Bonds’ testimony, we get a glimpse of the kind of “knowledge” possessed by Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson. Bonds testified that he liked Anderson’s training philosophy and said, “Greg is more 16 sets of chest, more biceps, to really maximize and expand your muscle.” Great stuff.
This Greg Anderson really revolutionized strength training for elite athletes. Usually you’d have to go to your local bowling alley for this kind of knowledge. Seriously, anyone who thinks Bonds was hooked into Anderson because of his training knowledge might need to be told that Tony Bennett didn't really leave his heart in San Francisco, and that the phrase is a metaphor.
Later in his deposition Bonds says, “I started this whole training thing all year-round program. And I had to teach them (his training staff, not the Giants’ staff) a lot of things. You know Greg was into bodybuilding-type things. I had to teach him about baseball players to keep flexibility and stuff.” Huh?
From what Bonds says and from what we know about Anderson’s regimen as it appeared in the infamous Muscle and Fitness article, these two guys know as much about training for sport as do the natives of Papua New Guinea. There are several hundred members of university strength and conditioning staffs just in the state of California that could have saved Barry a lot of time, effort and trouble, and certainly would have been better hires than Anderson. It's just that these kids didn't have access to Victor Conte and his criminal enterprise of manufacturing and distributing illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
And then there are Bonds’ denials.
Bonds says he never was given steroids or human growth hormone by Anderson and was never injected with anything by Anderson.
Bonds claims not to know anything about any vitamins or supplements that he took. Doesn’t know anything about the pre-workout drink, something named “Proglycem.”
He says he knows nothing about what Anderson gave him, nothing about the cream he rubbed into his body, nothing about the sublingual drops that Anderson administered. Says he never had heard of flaxseed oil until Anderson told him that was what the drops were. Yet Bonds knew how to pronounce depotestosterone, knows it is an injectable steroid and knows that it is not illegal to possess if you have a doctor’s prescription.
When asked about Anderson’s notations such as, “Clomifend off-season and regular season 100 pills for $100,” Bonds pleads ignorance. Says he doesn’t know what Clomifend is. On page 53 of the deposition when Bonds is asked, “Do you know what Clomifend is?” he answers, “Never heard of it.” When asked if he ever took it Bonds says, “Never heard of it.” When told that it is a fertility drug and not something an athlete would typically take Bonds replies, “Never heard of it. Not aware of it.” Bonds does not say that he didn’t take Clomifend or Modanifil – a stimulant favored by Victor Conte – but repeats over and over that, “I’ve never heard of it.”
When faced with this question, “Let me be point blank about this. Did he ever give you anything you knew to be a steroid? Did he ever give you a steroid?” Bonds responded, “I don’t think Greg would do anything like that to me and jeopardize our friendship. I don’t think he would do that.” When asked again to repeat this, if Anderson gave him steroids Bonds says, “Not that I know of.” Bonds certainly does not say – in response to this very clear and specific question – that Anderson didn’t give him steroids.
Bonds states on page 56 of the transcripts that he is suspicious that the substances given to him by Anderson might, in fact, be steroids. When asked about the likelihood of Anderson giving him steroids, the lawyer asked for clarification on Bonds’ answer of, “Not that I know of.”
Bonds says that he has “suspicions over these 2 items right here.” He goes on to say, “And that’s the only reason. But I haven’t asked him (Anderson). I haven’t gotten there. So I’m suspicious over this stuff right here." When asked when Bonds started having these suspicions, Bonds say that since the investigation started he started to wonder, “What is this stuff.”
And yet he never stopped taking these substances or asked his bestest childhood buddy what he was taking. He went on to say that, “If it’s a steroid it ain’t working.”
Bonds testimony is filled with these kinds of childlike responses. And upon reading the questions and Bonds’ answers, his legal team’s position that the government asked questions that were unclear and confusing is even more preposterous. When pressed about Anderson providing him with testosterone and questioned about notations that indicate Bonds was given a urine test on a certain date to check for his testosterone level, Bonds veers into the land of incoherence when he talks about Anderson’s personal life and that he lives out of his car half of the time.
Other inconsistencies are revealed when we learn that Bonds doesn’t trust any doctor other than his own personal physician. Actually here’s what Bonds said, “We don’t trust the ball team. We don’t trust baseball. I don’t trust their doctors or nothing.” He doesn’t clarify who “we” is.
So the people who made him wealthy aren’t trustworthy, but a guy who lives out of his car, is a bodybuilder-type, give him random substances for free and takes his blood and urine is trustworthy?
When pressed on detailed notations dealing with drugs for someone referred to as “Barry Bond,” “Barry B,” and “BB,” Bonds plays the ignorance card. When asked about apparent drug test notations Bonds is in the dark. He repeats that he’s never paid Anderson for anything except training, and he only paid him a paltry $15,000 for the year. What a cheapskate, Bonds made $17 million that year. Andy Pettitte was giving Brian McNamee over 60 large a year for his “services.” But I digress…
Faced with urine test results that show “Barry Bond” failing a drug test for testosterone, methenolone and nandrolone, Barry Bonds says he never knew anything about anything. He said his best pal, the pauper Greg Anderson who was basically training the multi-millionaire for free, never mentioned anything about these tests performed for BALCO Labs by Quest Diagnostics. The real “BB” never knew anything about these potentially damaging tests until he sat for the deposition and was given these documents by the prosecutors.
And so it goes after the break, and throughout the remaining testimony. Bonds plays the ignorance card and proclaims his loyalty to Anderson, who Bonds basically portrays as a clueless lapdog loser for whom Bonds would do all kinds of favors, like work with Victor Conte, do advertisements, conduct interviews and give Conte and Anderson blood and urine tests at their discretion. Knowing what we know about Bonds – the paranoid, non-trusting, spoiled and indulged brat – it’s impossible to believe this scenario.
As the days go on, no doubt there will be more analysis of Bonds’ testimony. But the bottom line is that Bonds’ story has more holes in it than the current San Francisco Giants line-up and, as this story progresses, the paths of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds will be closer than it was at any time during the productive phases of their careers. And they may wind up in the same place, which is not necessarily Cooperstown.Powered by Sidelines