Excerpt: Mitchell Report on Bonds
Posted: Thursday December 13, 2007 6:05PM; Updated: Thursday December 13, 2007 6:05PM
The following is excerpted from Pages 128 to 130 of the Mitchell Report; footnotes are not included here.
In addition to declining an interview in connection with this investigation, Bonds declined to respond to written questions about his alleged use of performance enhancing substances.
Harvey Shields was Bonds's personal trainer between 2000 and 2004 and continued to provide training services to Bonds as a Giants employee from 2004 through 2006. He said in an interview that Greg Anderson provided Bonds with a cream to use on his elbow, which Shields said he believed was an over-the-counter "arthritis cream." Shields also said that Anderson provided Bonds with a clear liquid that Bonds ingested by placing drops under his tongue. Shields did not know where Anderson obtained the clear liquid. When asked how many times he and Bonds had taken the "clear," Shields would say only "more than once."
Shields said he believed the clear liquid was flaxseed oil. He claimed to have taken the clear liquid himself, and he said that it tasted like flaxseed oil he had obtained from health food stores in the past. Shields's description of the "clear" is contradicted by the description provided by Patrick Arnold, the chemist who developed it, who in a television interview said the substance was "sickly bitter" and would never be confused for flaxseed oil by anyone who had tasted both.
In their book The Juice: The Real Story of Baseball's Drug Problems, the authors Will Carroll and Dr. William Carroll explained that "BALCO was noted to use flaxseed oil as a delivery agent" for the "clear." According to the authors, the use of flaxseed oil as a delivery agent for steroids is widely known in the "steroid underground" because "flaxseed oil can counteract some of the estrogenic effects of steroid use, such as growth of breasts in men."
Shields also accompanied Bonds to BALCO on at least one occasion sometime "around 2001," when Bonds and Shields met at BALCO with Bonds's personal physician, Dr. Arthur Ting, and BALCO vice president Jim Valente. Once inside, Dr. Ting drew blood from Bonds and Shields for testing at BALCO. Shields said that BALCO tested the blood samples for vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Major League Baseball records confirmed that Greg Anderson accompanied Bonds as his guest during a 2002 All-Star tour in Japan. Because Anderson was Bonds's guest, his first-class airfare, hotel, and a daily meal stipend were paid for by Major League Baseball during the two-week trip.
Peter Magowan told me in an interview that he was in San Diego in February 2004 when he received a telephone call from Bonds to discuss ways to improve the team for the coming season. Magowan said that at the conclusion of the phone call he said to Bonds "I've really got to know, did you take steroids?" According to Magowan, Bonds responded that when he took the substances he did not know they were steroids but he later learned they were. Bonds said that he took these substances for a period of time to help with his arthritis, as well as sleeping problems he attributed to concern about his father's failing health. To emphasize that he was not hiding anything Bonds added that he used these substances in the clubhouse in the plain view of others. Bonds told Magowan he used these substances for only a short period of time and that they "didn't work." Magowan recalled asking Bonds whether this was what he had told the grand jury. Bonds replied yes. Magowan also asked Bonds if he was telling the truth, and Bonds said he was.
Two days after Magowan's interview, lawyers for Magowan and the Giants called a member of my investigative staff. Magowan's lawyer explained that his client misspoke when he said that Bonds had said, during their February 2004 telephone call, that he later learned the substances he had taken were steroids. According to his lawyer, Magowan could only recall with certainty that (1) Bonds had said he did not knowingly take steroids, and (2) what Bonds said to Magowan during the call was consistent with what Magowan later read in the San Francisco Chronicle about Bonds's reported grand jury testimony.