Bonds' urine sample tested positive for steroids: lab chief

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Apr 5, 2011 4:35pm EDT

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A urine sample that baseball home run king Barry Bonds submitted in 2003 was positive for banned performance enhancing drugs, the former director of a University of California Lab said Tuesday in Bonds' perjury trial.

Describing a test performed on the sample three years later, UCLA Olympic Lab former chief Don Catlin said, "it means that it contains drugs, or metabolites that should not be there."

Bonds has pleaded not guilty to lying to a grand jury in a 2003 investigation of illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, and prosecutors say they will prove their case by showing he did in fact take steroids.

The urine sample contained both tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), a steroid that prosecutors say was designed to avoid detection, and clomiphene, which suppresses the hormone estrogen, potentially increasing the production of testosterone.

The bald, grandfatherly Catlin, who designed testing procedures to identify the drugs, commented simply that tests performed on the drugs were positive.

His testimony followed a series of witnesses over the past week who described the journey of the urine sample from the San Francisco Giants clubhouse where Bonds gave the sample, to the University of California Olympic Analytical Laboratory.

The sample was at first found negative by Quest Diagnostics, but an Internal Revenue Service agent seized it as part of the agency's investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, and took it to the UCLA lab. There, a more sophisticated test detected the drugs, Catlin testified.

The charges in the Bonds case stem from his 2003 appearance before a U.S. grand jury investigating BALCO, whose head pleaded guilty to dispensing steroids to professional athletes, a national scandal.

While playing for the San Francisco Giants, Bonds broke Hank Aaron's 33-year-old career home run record in August 2007. Three months, later a grand jury indicted him for perjury and obstruction of justice.

Bonds told the grand jury he did not knowingly use steroids or growth hormones and said he never questioned the flaxseed oil, vitamins, protein shakes and creams his trainer supplied him.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is United States of America v. Barry Lamar Bonds, 07-cr-732.

(Editing by Peter Henderson)

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