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The Truth About Barry Bonds and Steroids
Mark Fainaru-Wada
March 13, 2006
ON MAY 22, 1998, the San Francisco Giants arrived in St. Louis for a three-game series with the Cardinals. That weekend, Giants All-Star leftfielder Barry Bonds got a firsthand look at the frenzied excitement surrounding Mark McGwire, baseball's emerging Home Run King. � Bonds had recently remarried, but on this trip he was accompanied by his girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, a slender, attractive woman with long brown hair and brown eyes whom he had met four years earlier in the players' parking lot at Candlestick Park. Bell had been looking forward to the trip, and it was pleasant in many ways--a big hotel room with a view of St. Louis's famous arch; a wonderful seat eight rows behind home plate; and even tornado warnings, which were exotic to a California girl. But Bonds was sulky and brooding. A three-time National League MVP, he was one of the most prideful stars in baseball. All that weekend, though, he was overshadowed by McGwire.
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March 13, 2006

The Truth About Barry Bonds And Steroids

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About an hour into the interview at BALCO, Novitzky emerged from the conference room with a smile on his face. " Conte just gave up everything, he just cashed in everybody," Novitzky told his colleagues, mentioning Bonds and Jones in particular. There was no tape made of the interview.

In their search for evidence the agents found the ledger in Conte's office--listing the names of athletes, the specific drugs they were using, their blood and urine-test results and their testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratios (a key reading for drug testers). They also found documents detailing lab work performed for various athletes, apparently as part of Conte's trace mineral-testing program.

At 2:16 Larry Bowers, a USADA expert, joined Novitzky, Conte, Columbet and an IRS CI photographer for the search of Conte's storage locker. There, they hit the mother lode. Conte helped the agents pull out several boxes of drugs, including his supplies of the Cream and the latest version of the Clear, a designer steroid unknown to testers until USADA had received a sample of it sent anonymously. Bowers reflected on his days running an Olympic drug-testing lab in Indianapolis, when he and other scientists mused about whether somebody could be out there creating designer drugs that would go undetected: This is it, he thought.

Conte also directed the agents to two banker's boxes filled with files on his athlete clients. The files contained calendars as well as testing and payment records--essentially diaries detailing the extent of the cheating, down to the day and the dose.

At 3:24, while the search of the locker was wrapping up, Novitzky and Columbet took Conte back to BALCO. Conte kept talking. He provided, among other things, an outline of the alphabet used on the calendars.

At 3:59 Novitzky and Columbet brought Conte back to the reception area. Now it was Jim Valente's turn. Valente gave the agents a statement that mirrored Conte's but without the hyperbole or slipperiness. Valente also offered additional insights. He explained that he was the contact for Greg Anderson, who had become the BALCO connection for baseball players. Valente delivered BALCO drugs and invoices to Anderson.

In addition to the Cream and the Clear, Anderson supplied his ballplayers with human growth hormone and testosterone cypionate, Valente told the agents. Valente said Bonds had received the Cream and the Clear directly from BALCO on "a couple of occasions," but the Giants outfielder didn't like the way the Clear made him feel.

Then the agents turned their attention to Anderson. They found him in a nearby gym and told him they had a warrant to search his home and car. Did the trainer want to come along, observe the search and perhaps answer some questions?

Anderson agreed to speak with the agents but was more guarded than Conte and Valente. When he began talking, Anderson would only admit that he gave "a small amount of steroids to people." While he talked, agents searching the residence found more than $60,000 in cash inside a safe above the microwave.

Anderson said he had been working with professional athletes since about 1997. His baseball clients included Barry Bonds. At first he said he provided steroids only to bodybuilders but then admitted he supplied them to other athletes as well. He didn't want to name names.

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