FanPost

SI Sourcing Document

here is the sidebar explaining the sourcing for SI's excerpt, which is to be published in the magazine:  

The Documentation

The authors' extensive research provided compelling evidence of Bonds's use of performance-enhancers

By Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams

This narrative is based on more than a thousand pages of documents and interviews with more than 200 people, many of whom we spoke to repeatedly. In our reporting on the BALCO story for the San Francisco Chronicle, we obtained transcripts of the secret grand jury testimony of Barry Bonds and seven other prominent professional athletes. We also reviewed confidential memorandums detailing federal agents' interviews with other athletes and trainers who had direct knowledge of BALCO. Sealed material we reviewed also included unredacted versions of affidavits filed by the BALCO investigators; e-mail between BALCO owner Victor Conte and several athletes and coaches regarding the use and distribution of drugs; a list of evidence seized from the BALCO storage locker; and a document prepared to brief participants in the raid on BALCO.

Memos detailing the statements of Conte, BALCO vice president James Valente and Bonds's trainer, Greg Anderson, to IRS special agent Jeff Novitzky were sealed when we first reviewed them, but they have since become part of the public file in the BALCO case. The BALCO search warrant affidavits and other court records provided significant information. We also obtained a recording made without Anderson's knowledge in 2003 by a person familiar with Bonds's trainer; in it, Anderson acknowledged that Bonds was using an undetectable performance-enhancing drug to beat baseball's drug tests. Kimberly Bell, Bonds's former girlfriend, provided legal correspondence, transcripts, audiotapes of voice mail and many documents regarding her relationship with Bonds.

We conducted our interviews  about BALCO from September 2003 until the autumn of '05. The names of many of our sources appear in the text or in the extensive chapter notes included in Game of Shadows. Some sources requested anonymity to avoid interfering with the federal BALCO investigation and a related grand jury probe that continued into '05; additional information about such sources appears in the chapter notes.

When they raided BALCO in September 2003, federal investigators began to accumulate evidence that Bonds was a steroid user. By the summer of '05, investigators had convincing proof that he had been using performance-enhancing drugs for years and that drugs had been provided to him by Anderson, who obtained them from BALCO and other sources. The evidence also showed that Bonds had not been truthful when he told the BALCO grand jury under oath that he hadn't knowingly used steroids.

After his grand jury appearance, Bonds continued to insist publicly that he had never used banned drugs, and the San Francisco Giants, who were paying him $90 million over five years, made no move to investigate his conduct or restrict his contact with suspected steroid dealers, arguing that there was no proof of wrongdoing.

Nevertheless, proof of Bonds's drug use exists, most of it in the possession of federal agents, much of it in the public domain. The evidence includes the statements of confessed steroid dealers, the account of a Bonds confidant, considerable documentary and circumstantial evidence, and the account of a source familiar with Bonds who has specific knowledge of his use of banned drugs. That evidence forms the foundation of this narrative.

Here is the evidence in review.

*  Statements to Federal Agents

  1. When he was questioned during the raid, BALCO's James Valente told Novitzky that Bonds had received the undetectable steroids the Cream and the Clear from BALCO. Valente said Anderson had brought Bonds to BALCO before the 2003 season, seeking steroids that would not show up on drug tests. Valente said he provided Anderson with drugs to give to Bonds. Valente pleaded guilty to a steroid conspiracy charge in 2005.
  2. In his own statement during the raid,  Conte gave an identical account of Anderson's bringing Bonds to BALCO and Bonds's subsequent use of the Cream and the Clear. Conte said Bonds used the drugs on a regular basis. Conte later claimed Novitzky's report contained words he never said. But it is significant that in 2005, Conte backed out of an evidentiary hearing in which he could have confronted Novitzky about the supposedly incorrect statements and sought to have them thrown out of court. Instead, Conte pleaded guilty to a steroid conspiracy charge.
  3. When Anderson was questioned by agents on the day of the raid, he admitted giving banned drugs to many of his "baseball clients" but denied giving drugs to Bonds. In a search of Anderson's residence, agents found calendars referring to Bonds that plotted his use of steroids. When the agents sought to question Anderson about the calendars, the trainer said he didn't think he should talk anymore because he didn't want to go to jail. He pleaded guilty to steroid conspiracy and acknowledged in court that he dealt drugs to baseball players.
  4. In the summer of 2004 the former Olympic shot putter C. J. Hunter told agent Novitzky that Conte had confided to him that Bonds was using the Clear. Hunter said their conversation had taken place in '03. Hunter's lawyer later said the federal agent's report was incorrect and that Conte had not implicated Bonds to Hunter.
*  U.S. Grand Jury Testimony
  1. In 2005 Kimberly Bell told the BALCO grand jury that in '00 Bonds had confided in her that he was using steroids, saying they helped him recover from injuries but also blaming them for the elbow injury that sidelined him in 1999.
  2. In 2003 sprinter Tim Montgomery told the grand jury that when he visited BALCO in '00 or '01, he saw vials of the steroid Winstrol in BALCO's weight room. Montgomery testified that Conte said he was giving Winstrol to Bonds.
  3. In 2003 five baseball players told the grand jury that they'd gotten steroids, growth hormone and other drugs from Anderson, whom they had met in his role as Bonds's trainer. The obvious import of their testimony was that they were receiving the same drugs that Anderson was giving Bonds, but the players claimed no direct knowledge of Bonds's steroid use.
*  Documents
At Anderson's apartment, investigators found steroids, growth hormone and $60,000 in cash, along with a folder that contained doping calendars and other documents detailing Bonds's use of steroids. Prosecutors questioned Bonds about the documents during his grand jury appearance. Some document entries reflect payments for drugs for Bonds: $1,500 for two boxes of growth hormone; $450 for a bottle of Depotestosterone; $100 for 100 Clomiphene pills; $200 for the Cream and the Clear. Other entries reflect Bonds's drug cycle: For February '02, a calendar showed alternating days of the Cream, the Clear and growth hormone followed by "Clow," or Clomid.

A document labeled "BLB 2003" listed cities where the Giants played away games in 2003, with notations for the use of growth hormone, the Clear, the Cream and insulin on specific days. Other documents associated with Bonds referred to the use of trenbolone and "beans," the Mexican steroid. At Anderson's apartment, and in a search of BALCO's trash, the agents also found evidence of Bonds's blood being sent to drug labs for steroid testing.

*  Circumstantial Evidence
To some experts, the changes in Bonds's body in recent years constitute persuasive evidence of steroid use. No one at his age could put on so much muscle without using steroids, these observers reason.
According to team media guides, which are often imprecise, Bonds has grown one inch in height and gained 43 pounds since his rookie year of 1986. In 2004 the Giants reported his weight as 228, but sources familiar with Bonds say he was heavier. Bonds himself has claimed all the weight gain is muscle, not fat. In '97, when the Giants reported that he weighed 206, Bonds told USA Today that his body fat was an extraordinarily low 8%. In '02, when Bonds's weight was listed at 228, Greg Anderson told The New York Times Magazine that Bonds's body fat was even lower: 6.2%.
The belief that the changes in Bonds's body reflect steroid use is supported by the research of Harvard psychiatrist Harrison Pope, an expert on the mental-health effects of steroid abuse. In 1995, in The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, Pope and three colleagues published a mathematical formula for use in determining whether a person is using steroids. The "Fat-Free Mass Index," as the formula is called, predicts steroid use from a series of computations involving the subject's "lean muscle mass," which is determined from height, weight and percentage of body fat. The higher the index number, the leaner and more muscular the individual is. The average 30-year-old American male scores 20, Pope says, while the former Mr. America Steve Reeves, the most famous muscle man of the presteroid era, scored 25 in his prime. A score of more than 25 indicates steroid use.
In 1997, when Bonds reportedly weighed 206 and had 8% body fat, he scored 24.8 on the index. In 2002, when Bonds reportedly weighed 228 and had body fat of 6.2% his score was 28--well over the level of a "presumptive diagnosis" of steroid use.   

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