PHOENIX -- A new book, parts of which are excerpted in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, says Giants slugger Barry Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs during a five-year period beginning in 1998. The book, entitled "Game of Shadows" and written by a pair of San Francisco Chronicle reporters who covered the federal investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO), alleges Bonds used such steroid-based drugs as Winstrol, "as well as insulin, human growth hormone, testosterone decanoate (a fast-acting steroid known as Mexican beans) and trenbolone, a steroid created to improve the muscle quality of cattle," the SI article said. Bonds has consistently denied the use of steroids, and using performance-enhancing steroids -- with a prescription -- was legal in Major League Baseball until 2003, the first year players were tested for a wide variety of drug use. During the past three years, as the incidence of testing and the penalties for being caught has increased, Bonds has not tested positive for drug use.
Bonds could not be reached by telephone, but he told reporters gathered at the Giants camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Tuesday morning that he "wasn't aware of the article." "I won't look at it," he said. "What for? There's no need to." Commissioner Bud Selig declined to comment about the new revelations. "It's inappropriate at this time," said his spokesman, Rich Levin, who was in attendance at Tuesday's Team USA-Mexico World Baseball Classic opener at Chase Field. "Nobody has read the material yet." Bonds testified in front of a grand jury investigating BALCO, and his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, was indicted along with Victor Conte, the laboratory's founder, for money laundering and the selling of performance-enhancing drugs. Both men later pled guilty and were sentenced to jail terms. Authors Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams revealed two years ago through grand jury testimony leaked to the Chronicle that Bonds had testified to unknowingly using performance-enhancing drugs called "the cream" and "the clear." In the book, the writers allege that Bonds began injecting Winstrol in his buttocks in 1998, and by 2001 -- the year he broke Mark McGwire's three-year-old single season record and hit 73 home runs -- Bonds was regularly using "the cream" and "the clear" as well as a wide range of other performance enhancing drugs. Bonds missed all but 14 games of this past season after having surgery three times in 2005 on his right knee. He returned on Sept. 12 and hit five homers in his first 36 at bats. He has yet to play a game this spring as he is slowly conditioning himself for a push at the all-time home run record. Bonds, at 708, is six homers in arrears of Babe Ruth and 47 behind Hank Aaron, the all-time leader with 755. SI said that "BALCO tracked Bonds' usage with doping calendars and folders -- detailing drugs, quantities, intervals and Bonds' testosterone levels -- that wound up in the hands of federal agents upon their Sept. 3, 2003, raid of the Burlingame, Calif., business." The magazine went on to say that, "The authors compiled the information over a two-year investigation that included, but was not limited to, court documents, affidavits filed by BALCO investigators, confidential memoranda of federal agents (including statements made to them by athletes and trainers), grand jury testimony, audiotapes and interviews with more than 200 sources. "Some of the information previously was reported by the authors in the Chronicle. Some of the information is new. For instance, in an extensive note on sourcing, the authors said memos detailing statements by BALCO owner Conte, vice president James Valente and Anderson to IRS special agent Jeff Novitzky were sealed when they first consulted them, but have been unsealed since."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.