A San Francisco newspaper is reporting that Giants star outfielder Barry Bonds is one of six Major League Baseball players to receive steroids from the nutritional supplement lab at the center of a federal probe.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on its website Tuesday that Bonds, New York Yankees stars Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield, three other major leaguers, and one National Football League player were given illegal performance-enhancing drugs. The report cited information given to federal investigators, but Yankees captain Derek Jeter says the allegations have not been proved.
"People are always going to have their assumptions about who is doing what and whatever, but I assume people are innocent until they are proven guilty," Jeter said. "So I think the questions are going to get old after a while. So everyone is being tested now, so if someone comes up positive from there, then that is when you have issues." According to the report, Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, gave the players the drugs from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative known as BALCO. Bonds, Giambi and Sheffield testified last fall before the grand jury that indicted four men in the alleged steroid-distribution ring. They have all denied steroid use.
"I have not done anything, you know; I have worked my butt off," said Gambi. "You know, that is the thing. I know everybody has seen me, especially the reporters and everybody else. I get in the weight room and work my butt off and go from there now."
The personal trainer, Greg Anderson, has been charged with participating in a steroid-distribution ring. Also charged were BALCO founder Victor Conte, the lab's vice president, James Valente, and track coach Remi Korchemny. All four have pleaded innocent and are free on bond.
The San Francisco Chronicle also reported that two of Bonds' former teammates - outfielder Marvin Benard of the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City catcher Benito Santiago and former Oakland infielder Randy Velarde - also received performance-enhancing drugs, as did Oakland Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski.
The Chronicle quoted an anonymous source as saying that Anderson provided Bonds with steroids and human growth hormone as far back as 2001, when the slugger hit 73 homers to break the single-season record. Bonds has 658 career homers - 97 shy of Hank Aaron's all-time career mark. Major League Baseball did not ban steroids until this season.