Bonds’ lawyers seek to bar evidence

By Paul Elias
Updated: January 16, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO – Lawyers for Barry Bonds on Thursday attacked as inadmissible much of the government’s known evidence in its perjury prosecution, including planned testimony from former mistress Kimberly Bell that she witnessed rages and physical changes allegedly caused by steroid use.

The same court filing asking for the evidence ban also shows federal prosecutors intend to call athletes who received a so-called doping calendar from Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson.

Though they aren’t named in the filing, current and former big leaguers Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Benito Santiago, Armando Rios and Bobby Estalella all have been linked to Anderson, who is alleged to have maintained a doping calendar for Bonds.

Bonds’ attorneys said it appears the government wants to call the athletes rather than Anderson to discuss the calendar, and they ask a judge to prevent that because that doesn’t prove who created the documents.

Anderson served more than a year in prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury about Bonds and the trainer has said he will keep his vow of silence if called to the witness stand during trial.

The lawyers also asked for a blanket prohibition on showing the jury the calendar even if Anderson does testify, arguing there’s no proof that Bonds knew the documents existed before he testified before a December 2003 grand jury investigating sports doping.

Bonds has pleaded not guilty to one obstruction of justice charge and 14 counts that he lied to that grand jury about his drug use. His trial is scheduled to begin in March.

Federal prosecutors didn’t return a telephone call late Thursday.

Bonds also is seeking to prevent the government from showing the jury blood and urine samples seized from raids at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which was the center of a performance-enhancing drug ring busted by federal agents in 2003.

The samples purportedly show Major League Baseball’s home-run king testing positive for steroids. But Bonds’ lawyers say the samples were handled so shoddily that there is enough doubt about their source to make them inadmissible in court.

The filing shows the government intends to call Bonds’ personal surgeon Dr. Arthur Ting to testify about obtaining some of the samples.

Bonds also objected to the government’s two expert witnesses as unqualified to scientifically discuss steroids. Prosecutors plan to call Larry Bowers, head scientist at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and Dr. Don Catlin, a leading anti-doping expert in the United States who heads cyclist Lance Armstrong’s testing program. Because neither man holds a degree in chemistry, neither is qualified to testify, Bonds’ attorneys argue.

Aside from preventing Bonds’ former mistress from testifying about physical and mental changes she has alleged to have seen, the player’s lawyers want a similar prohibition against testimony from former business partner Steve Hoskins, lead federal investigator Jeff Novitzky and former San Francisco Giants trainer Stan Conte, who is now the Los Angeles Dodgers’ head athletic trainer.

The filing also seeks to bar the admission of taped conversations of Hoskins and Anderson. The filing doesn’t provide any details about the recordings.

Bonds’ attorneys asked a judge to hold a special hearing into their requests.