SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Barry Bonds once joked about avoiding getting caught when his trainer injected him in the navel, the baseball home run king’s former personal shopper testified on Thursday in the slugger’s trial on charges he lied about doping.
Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson, who has admitted to distributing steroids in the BALCO case which stunned professional sports, used a syringe filled with an unknown substance on Bonds in 2002, Shopper Kathy Hoskins said.
Bonds said it was “a little something something” for when he would go on the road, and he also said something to the effect of, “If you can’t detect it, you can’t catch it,” Hoskins testified.
Bonds has pleaded not guilty to lying to a grand jury in a 2003 investigation of illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, but prosecutors say they will prove their case by showing he did in fact take steroids.
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.
Hoskins followed orthopedic surgeon Arthur Ting on the stand. Ting said he gave information on the link between steroids and tendon injuries to Steve Hoskins, Bonds’ then-business partner and Kathy’s brother.
Ting, who performed eight surgeries on Bonds, said at the slugger’s trial he had no other conversations regarding steroids with Steve Hoskins, Bonds’ old friend.
Ting also testified on Thursday that he never discussed Bonds’ use of steroids with Hoskins.
The doctor’s version conflicted with Hoskins’ previous testimony, where he said he discussed his concerns regarding Bonds and steroid use as many as 50 times with Ting.
“Did Stevie ever say to you I need to get the information so I can get it back to Barry so we would know what the effects of the steroids were? Did he ever say that?” asked defense lawyer Cristina Arguedas.
“No,” Ting replied.
Ting also testified that Bonds had a strong dislike of needles and that he would first need to inject the slugger with Novocain before giving him larger shots. Ting said he did prescribe corticosteroids to Bonds to help alleviate post-surgery conditions, including inflammation.
Under questioning from Arguedas, Ting agreed such steroids could cause acne, bloating and weight gain -- symptoms the government contends are consistent with the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The charges in the Bonds case stem from his 2003 appearance before a U.S. grand jury investigating The Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), whose head pleaded guilty to dispensing steroids to professional athletes, a national scandal.
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 Dan Levine, Peter Henderson and Deborah Charles