barry-bonds.jpgA former girlfriend of Barry Bonds testified in federal court in San Francisco today that the home-run champion told her in 1999 or 2000 that he was taking steroids.

Kimberly Bell, who had a nine-year relationship with Bonds that ended in 2003, also said she observed changes in Bonds’ body, including acne and shrinkage of the testicles, as well as increased irritability.

“He was just increasingly aggressive, irritable, agitated,” Bell said under questioning from prosecutor Jeff Nedrow before a jury in the court of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston.

Last week, a prosecution science expert testified that the types of symptoms Bell said she observed were related to steroid use.

Bell’s testimony came at the start of the second week of Bonds’ trial on charges of lying in 2003 to a federal grand jury that was investigating sales of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.

Bonds is accused of lying when he told the panel he never knowingly took steroids or human growth hormone from his trainer, Greg Anderson.

Anderson has refused to testify in the trial, but prosecutors are seeking to use an array of other evidence, including Bell’s testimony, to show that he knowingly took steroids.

Bell said that Bonds told her in either 1999 or 2000 that he was taking steroids after she asked him about an elbow injury.

During extensive cross-examination, defense attorney Cristina Arguedas questioned Bell about her numerous radio and television appearances and attempts at a book deal starting in 2004.

Asked whether she planned to make a lot of money on the proposed book, Bell answered, “The plan was to put my life back together.”

Bell denied being angry and bitter toward Bonds, saying only, “I was hurt.”

Bonds set Major League Baseball’s single-season and career home-run records while playing for the San Francisco Giants.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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