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Bonds was heavy user of steroids, book says

Slugger is linked to 10 substances

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Baseball slugger Barry Bonds, who is closing in on the sport's all-time home run record, used a wide range of illegal steroids as well as human growth hormone since 1998, according to a new book that offers exhaustive detail of what Bonds may have used and when, and suggests he was lying when he told a federal grand jury otherwise.

Motivated by his jealousy of the attention Mark McGwire received when he broke Roger Maris's season record for home runs in 1998, Bonds used as many as 10 performance-enhancing drugs, according to an excerpt from the book, written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters, that appears in the March 13 issue of Sports Illustrated. Bonds ultimately learned to inject himself with steroids, and exercised meticulous control over the regimens he followed, the authors contend.

In ''Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports," Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams write, ''Bonds himself had never used anything more performance enhancing than a protein shake from the health-food store. But as the 1998 season unfolded, and as he watched Mark McGwire take over the game -- his game -- Barry Bonds decided that he, too, would begin using."

The reporters have covered a grand jury investigation in San Francisco of a steroid-distribution scandal involving the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, known as BALCO. The grand jury was convened in October 2003 and is still investigating.

Bonds, who has consistently denied using illegal performance-enhancing substances, was asked about the book at the spring training facility of the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz.

''I won't even look at it. For what? There's no need to," he said.

Robert DuPuy, CEO of Major League Baseball and the second-ranking MLB official behind commissioner Bud Selig, said neither he nor Selig had read the magazine article as of yesterday afternoon.

''When the commissioner has had a chance to review the allegations, I am confident he will want to talk to Barry about them," said DuPuy, who was in Florida for the World Baseball Classic.

Bonds appeared Dec. 4, 2003, before the federal grand jury and was granted immunity, though not for perjury. He testified that he used a clear substance and a cream supplied by BALCO, but he said he thought they were ''flaxseed oil" and a balm for arthritis. Bonds also stated that he never injected himself with drugs.

The book, according to the authors, was based on court documents, affidavits filed by BALCO investigators, documents written by federal agents, grand jury testimony, audio recordings, and interviews with more than 200 people. They relied in part on calendars and other written and computer records kept by Bonds's weight trainer, Greg Anderson, who allegedly first introduced Bonds to Winstrol, the same steroid used by Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson when he won his Olympic gold medal in 1988, and by Victor Conte, the BALCO owner who allegedly introduced Bonds to a far more sophisticated -- and undetectable -- array of substances. Johnson later forfeited his medal.

''Although Olympic athletes faced the toughest steroid policy in sports, Conte came to realize that beating the testers was not difficult," the authors wrote. ''He worked to provide a broad menu of drugs that were hard to detect. Among those he ultimately offered were growth hormone; erythropoietin, or EPO, the oxygen-boosting drug; the diabetes drug insulin, which also was particularly potent when cocktailed with other substances; norbolethone, a.k.a. the Clear, a powerful anabolic developed by Wyeth Laboratories in the 1960s but never brought to market (possibly because of doubts about its safety); a testosterone-based balm that Conte called the Cream; and the narcolepsy drug modafinil, a powerful stimulant that athletes took directly before competing.

''Growth hormone and insulin were completely undetectable. The EPO test couldn't detect all forms of the drug. Testers wouldn't screen for norbolethone, a drug that had never been marketed. And the Cream was a mixture of synthetic testosterone and epitestosterone that concealed what would otherwise be telltale signs of the use of an undetectable steroid.

''Conte created a simple 'alphabet' shorthand for his drugs -- for example, 'E' for EPO, 'G' for growth hormone, 'I' for insulin -- to be used on calendars he and the athletes kept."

Anderson, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and money laundering, has served three months in prison. Conte, who also pleaded guilty to similar charges, is serving a four-month term in a federal prison in Bakersfield, Calif. He is scheduled to be released April 1, when he is to begin four months of home confinement.

Anderson was working as a trainer at a gym in suburban San Francisco when he first met Bonds. He had easy access to steroids. In addition to his stream of contacts in the bodybuilding world, the book says, Anderson knew AIDS patients who had prescriptions for testosterone and HGH and were willing to sell those drugs for cash.

Bonds began using Winstrol after the 1998 season, according to the book, with Anderson supplying the steroids and syringes and usually injecting Bonds in the buttocks. Eventually, Bonds learned to inject himself. Winstrol ''eliminated the pain and fatigue of training," allowing Bonds to lift weights with a fanatical dedication before the '99 season.

Bonds was 34 and already well on his way to establishing Hall of Fame credentials. He was a three-time Most Valuable Player, an eight-time All-Star, winner of eight Gold Gloves, and he had 411 home runs in 6,621 at-bats and a .290 career average.

But in the years of his alleged steroid use, at an age when many careers are winding down, Bonds exploded. He won four more MVP awards, hit a record 73 home runs in 2001, and hit 297 home runs in just 2,519 at-bats. He averaged 1 home run every 8.48 at-bats in that span, or almost twice as frequently (1 every 16.1 at-bats) as he had to that point in his career.

Bonds, who turns 42 in July, played in only 14 games last season after undergoing three knee operations. He begins the season with 708 home runs, just six fewer than Babe Ruth and within 47 of record-holder Henry Aaron.

Bonds's most recent proclamation that he never used steroids came in a Feb. 20 interview with USA Today. ''I'm clean," he said. ''I've always been clean. But it never ends." He blamed reporters for repeatedly bringing up the topic.

After federal agents raided the BALCO laboratory in 2003, Conte detailed his relationship with Bonds, according to the book. Agents also uncovered the records kept by Conte and Anderson.

''In addition to growth hormone and testosterone, doping calendars showed that Bonds used insulin along with steroids; the drug's anabolic effect was significant, especially when used in conjunction with growth hormone," the excerpt says. ''He also popped Mexican beans, fast-acting steroids thought to clear the user's system within a few days. The label of the container read, 'Andriol. Undecanoato de testosterone' -- in English: testosterone decanoate. Early in the 2001 season, the calendars indicated Bonds tried trenbolone, a steroid created to improve the muscle quality of beef cattle. Within the year it would be the chemical foundation for a new formulation of the Clear, the undetectable steroid Conte obtained from an Illinois chemist, Patrick Arnold."

The excerpt continues: ''During a three-week cycle, Bonds was injected with human growth hormone every other day. Between injections he alternately used Conte's two undetectable steroids, the Clear and the Cream. At cycle's end, Bonds took Clomid, a drug doctors prescribe to women for infertility; Conte thought it helped his clients recover their natural ability to produce testosterone, which was suppressed by steroid use. Conte recommended a week off between cycles. Usually the drugs were administered at Bonds's home, with Anderson dropping by to inject him with Growth or to squirt the Clear under his tongue, using a syringe with no needle."

The excerpt also describes in great detail Bonds's relationship with Kimberly Bell, a graphic artist whom he dated for nine years. Bonds reportedly gave Bell money throughout their secret relationship, telling her it came from the sale of autographed memorabilia. If true, he could face IRS investigation for unreported income.

The excerpt also paints Bonds as controlling, telling Bell that she should buy a big-screen television or a bed for her apartment. He also had the Beverly Hills Sports Council, his agents, send Bell a check in 1996, when Bonds decided Bell should have breast augmentation, according to the excerpt.

In addition to telling the grand jury that Bonds confessed to her in 2000 about his steroid use, Bell also described the numerous changes in Bonds's physical appearance and behavior, the excerpt recounts. Those changes, consistent with steroid use, included acne, hair falling out, and his head appearing to grow larger.

Bonds's lawyer, Michael Rains, has previously accused Bell of trying to extort money from Bonds after their relationship ended.

Material from wire services was used in this report.

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