Former Oakland A’s first baseman Jason Giambi and two other players testified in Barry Bonds’ perjury trial in San Francisco Tuesday that they took steroids given to them by Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson.
Giambi, who is now with the Colorado Rockies, said he used injectable testosterone and two designer steroids known as “the clear” and “the cream” that were mailed to him by Anderson between November 2002 and August 2003.
At the time, Giambi was living in Nevada and playing for the New York Yankees. He played for the A’s from 1995 to 2001 and again in 2009 before moving to the Colorado team.
He said he never talked to Anderson about whether the drugs were legal, but said, “I took it that it was very secretive to get your hands on it and to be quiet about it.”
Giambi, 40, told the jury in the court of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston that the trainer also informed him, “If I needed growth hormone he could send it to me.
“But I told him I had it already,” Giambi testified.
Giambi was followed to the stand by his brother, Jeremy Giambi, and former San Francisco Giants outfielder Marvin Benard, both of whom also testified they received steroids from Anderson in 2003 or earlier during their Major League Baseball careers.
Bonds, 46, is accused of lying when he told a federal grand jury in December 2003 that he never knowingly received steroids or human growth hormone from Anderson and never was injected by Anderson.
The former San Francisco Giants slugger faces four counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing justice. The trial is in its second week.
Prosecutors are seeking to use the testimony of the three players, and possibly several more later this week, to show that Anderson had access to such drugs and told the athletes what the substances were and how to take them.
That evidence is intended to shore up the prosecution’s claim that Bonds knowingly took steroids and human growth hormone supplied by Anderson.
But Illston, at the request of the defense, instructed jurors today that while the testimony is intended to show how the trainer distributed drugs, the jurors should not infer that just because the other players took drugs, Bonds probably did too.
“You may not consider the other athletes’ testimony for that purpose,” she told the jury.
Anderson himself has refused to testify and has been jailed for contempt of court for the duration of the four-week trial.
Bonds, who set Major League Baseball’s home-run records while playing for the Giants, admitted to the grand jury that he took the clear and the cream, but said he thought they were flaxseed oil and arthritis ointment, according to his lawyers.
Jason Giambi testified he met Anderson when he and Bonds were playing in a major league all-stars series in Japan in November 2002.
He said, “I was picking Greg’s brain to ask him about what kind of training Barry was doing.
“He was an incredible baseball player. I just wanted information from him,” said Giambi, who was the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 2000.
Giambi said that Anderson suggested he have his blood tested for possible vitamin deficiencies. After Giambi took the test in late 2002, he said, Anderson told him he was testing positive for a steroid called “Deca.”
He said Anderson warned him that steroid would show up on the drug testing planned by Major League Baseball for 2003, and suggested that Giambi consider a different substance.
Anderson then began mailing Giambi packages containing injectable testosterone, syringes, vials and jars of the clear and the cream and calendars with schedules for taking the substances.
Giambi said Anderson explained that the clear and the cream contained testosterone but were designed to be undetectable.
He said he paid Anderson about $10,000 for the drugs and stopped taking them after injuring his knee in August 2003.
Giambi previously publicly admitted in 2007 that he had taken steroids and apologized for having done so.
Jeremy Giambi testified he received the two designer steroids, injectable testosterone and human growth hormone from Anderson in 2002 and 2003.
He said Anderson didn’t explain to him what was in the clear, which is taken under the tongue, and the cream, which is rubbed on the skin, but said he did understand from the trainer what the injectable testosterone was.
“I knew what it was: a steroid,” the player said.
Benard testified Anderson gave him the steroid Deca sometime in 1999 and later gave him the cream and the clear.
In earlier testimony today, the Giants’ former head trainer, Stan Conte, told the jury that Bonds became significantly more muscular during the 1999 season.
“He got more muscular. His muscles got bigger, in my opinion,” Conte said.
Conte, a physical therapist who is now head trainer for the L.A. Dodgers, also said Bonds gained an estimated 10 or 15 pounds that season and developed acne on his shoulders and back.
A prosecution science expert testified last week that all those symptoms are linked to steroid use.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News