Report: Bonds '03 sample tests positive
Urine from MLB survey testing seized by feds in 2004
A urine test that then-Giants slugger Barry Bonds took anonymously as part of Major League Baseball's survey testing in 2003 has tested positive, the New York Times reported on its Web site Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.The test, which did not come up positive when administered and reviewed by labs assigned by MLB that year, tested positive for traces of steroids when the federal government analyzed it again, the Times reported. Those tests were seized from the lab in a raid by the feds in 2004. Bonds was indicted on what eventually has turned out to be 10 counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice, for allegedly lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in sworn testimony on Dec. 4, 2003.
His attorneys have filed a motion seeking to exclude as evidence blood and urine tests procured by federal prosecutors in a case that is scheduled to go to trial on March 2. There is a hearing Thursday in the San Francisco court of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to determine what evidence will be admitted at the trial.The judge has already ruled that the she will unseal some of the evidence the government intends to use against Bonds. The indictment, citing the actual grand jury testimony elicited from Bonds, alleges that Bonds lied when asked if he was ever given or was administered with needles anabolic steroids, testosterone or human growth hormone by his former trainer, Greg Anderson, during the period from 2000 to 2002. The indictment mentions nothing about what occurred during the 2003 Major League season. Under pressure at the time from the U.S. Congress, MLB and the players union agreed in collective bargaining to institute survey testing for all players during the 2003 season. Each player on the 40-man roster of the 30 MLB teams was tested at least once during Spring Training, and then a group of 240 were randomly tested again during the season. The tests were supposed to remain anonymous and none of the players who tested positive were notified that season, as per the privacy clause in the agreement. When 5 to 7 percent of the overall tests came back positive, punitive testing began during the 2004 season. Those 2003 tests were numbered, sent to a clinic for analysis, and were supposed to be destroyed by the union. Meanwhile, the feds subpoenaed the tests of the 10 baseball players who testified in front of the BALCO grand jury. The union fought the subpoenas in court, but during that lengthy process, federal prosecutors issued warrants and seized the tests of 104 players, who were all ultimately advised about the results after the seizure. Bonds denied under oath and with an immunity grant that he had ever taken any of the drugs. The original grand jury was empaneled to investigate BALCO on charges of money laundering and the illegal distribution of drugs. Bonds said he unknowingly may have used topical steroids created by BALCO called "the cream" and "the clear." Bonds said he thought the substances were arthritis balm and flaxseed oil. MLB never disclosed that Bonds tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and he was never punished for doing so before he left baseball at the end of the 2007 season.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.