A federal judge ruled in San Francisco today that prosecutors in Barry Bonds’ perjury trial can present evidence–but with limits–about other baseball players’ alleged receipt of steroids from Bonds’ trainer.
Bonds, 46, is due to go on trial in the court of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on March 21 on charges of lying when he told a federal grand jury in 2003 that he never knowingly received steroids, human growth hormone or any injection from his trainer, Greg Anderson.
Because Anderson has refused to testify at the trial, prosecutors are seeking to support their perjury claim with testimony from other players who allegedly had dealings with Anderson.
Illston ruled that prosecutors cannot argue that Anderson’s alleged supplying of drugs to other athletes helps to show that he had similar dealings with Bonds.
But she said the players’ testimony would be relevant to prosecutors’ claim that Anderson “had access to certain specific performance-enhancing drugs … and that he had knowledge of how these drugs worked, how to take them, and whether they could be detected by others.”
That information would be relevant to prosecutors’ allegation that Bonds “knew that Anderson was providing him steroids,” the judge wrote.
Illston tentatively decided in January that she would allow testimony from the other athletes, but the former San Francisco Giants slugger’s defense team had asked her to reconsider.
Baseball players slated to testify that Anderson gave them performance-enhancing drugs include Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Marvin Bernard, Armando Rios, Benito Santiago and Randy Velarde, according to the prosecution’s witness list.
While playing for the San Francisco Giants, Bonds set Major League Baseball’s single-season home-run record of 73 in 2001 and the career record of 762 in his last season in 2007.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News
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