Sunday, March 20, 2005


Barry Bond's ex-mistress testified that he told her he was taking steroids

The BALCO case is gathering steam and is now focusing on Barry Bonds. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Bonds' ex-mistress, Kimberly Bell, testified that Bonds told her he was taking steroids. Her testimony to a federal grand jury would contradict the testimony that Bonds gave; testimony, according to the Chronicle, that he never knowingly took steroids.

If the San Francisco Chronicle reports of both Bell's and Bonds' testimony are true then the baseball player might find himself in legal hot water. Barry Bonds did not make an appearance at last week's ballyhoooed Congressional hearings. Many fans and members of the media faulted Congress for failing to haul baseball's record-holding slugger before the House Government Reform Committee. Perhaps there was a method to the madness and Chairmen Tom Davis and Henry Waxmen felt compelled to leave Barry Bonds out of the mix for legal reasons.

In her testimony, according to the Chronicle, Bell testified that Barry Bonds told her details about his steroid use, how the San Francisco Giants organization helped Barry put her up in a team hotel on a road trip and how Barry Bonds changed his steroid regimen in order to prevent further injury to himself.

The following are excerpts from the San Francisco Chronicle article that details some baseball lowlights and how Barry might have to worry more about prosecutors than opposing pitchers in 2005...


Prosecutors in the BALCO steroids conspiracy case subpoenaed a former girlfriend of Barry Bonds' to testify before a federal grand jury in San Francisco last week, questioning her about the Giants star's finances and whether he used steroids, The Chronicle has learned.

Kimberly Bell, 35, a graphics artist from San Jose who says she dated Bonds from 1994 to 2003, told the grand jury Thursday that in 2000, the left fielder confided to her that he had begun using steroids, according to two sources familiar with an account of her testimony.


IRS criminal investigator Jeff Novitzky, lead agent in the BALCO case, contacted Bell last month after she appeared on the Geraldo Rivera program on the Fox News Channel to promote her book project and spoke about Bonds' alleged steroid use.

Bell testified that Bonds had told her about steroids during a visit to her apartment before the start of the 2000 baseball season, the sources said. She quoted Bonds as saying he was using a non-injectable form of the drug and that steroids were commonly used in baseball, according to the sources.

In response to questions, she testified Bonds had undergone physical changes consistent with steroid use, suffering from baldness, acne and other problems, the sources said. But she also told the grand jury she had never seen Bonds use drugs and had not seen drugs in his possession.
Bell's story about Bonds and steroids directly contradicts what the Giants star has told authorities. In his sworn testimony before a federal grand jury in December 2003, Bonds denied knowingly taking steroids, saying that Anderson had only given him a clear substance he said was flaxseed oil and a cream he was told was arthritis balm, The Chronicle has reported. Earlier in 2003, Bonds also told an FBI agent he had never taken steroids, according to a transcript of his testimony.


Bell told The Chronicle she had begun dating Bonds in 1994, during his contentious divorce from his first wife, Sun. The relationship nearly foundered when Bonds married his present wife, Liz Watson, in 1998, but Bell said she resumed seeing the Giants star after he returned from his honeymoon.
When the Giants went on the road, Bell said, Bonds sometimes paid for her to come along and watch him play. For a June 2000 series against the Astros in Houston, Giants traveling secretary Reggie Younger booked Bell's room at the Westin Galleria & Oaks, according to a receipt she provided The Chronicle. Younger's name was on the receipt. Bell said the Giants sometimes booked rooms for her so she could obtain a team discount. Younger did not return a reporter's phone call.


On April 21, 1999, Bonds underwent emergency surgery for a bone spur and torn triceps tendon in the elbow -- the first significant injury of his major league career. He missed seven weeks of the season, playing in only 102 games and batting .262 with 34 home runs. "He told me that steroids had probably caused the injury and that he would have to be more careful in the future," said Bell.
She said Bonds had made a point of saying that he was taking steroids orally: "He said, it wasn't like those bodybuilders who are injecting themselves ... it's not like I'm doing it the way other people do," she said. But he also said he needed the drugs to compete because they were so widely used in the game, she said.


SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, by Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, Chronicle Staff Writers: Baseball doping scandal swirls around Bonds / Grand jury: Slugger's former girlfriend testifies


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