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Trainer refuses to testify at Bonds trial

Trainer refuses to testify as Bonds trial resumes

Trainer refuses to testify at Bonds trial
SAN FRANCISCO -- The jury was sworn in, counsel for the prosecution and defense presented their opening arguments and the government called its first witnesses Tuesday as the Barry Bonds federal perjury trial moved into its second day.

The first witness the government attempted to call in the case was Greg Anderson, Bonds' former trainer, and Anderson once again refused to testify, as he had throughout the grand-jury process. Judge Susan Illston immediately remanded Anderson into custody for contempt of court.

The prosecution then called the first witness who would in fact testify -- federal agent Jeff Novitzky, the lead investigator in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) case. Novitzky, then an agent for the Internal Revenue Service and now an agent for the Food and Drug Administration, recounted the investigation in detail and described Bonds as a witness in that investigation while referring to Anderson and BALCO president Victor Conte as targets of it.

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"The only way you would change from a witness to a target is if you were not truthful," Novitzky testified he told each of the athletes he considered potential witnesses in the BALCO investigation, including Bonds.

Bonds is charged with four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice in relation to his testimony to the BALCO grand jury in December 2003, in which he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing substances. The trial began Monday and is expected to last 3-4 weeks.

The first portion of Novitzky's testimony, as directed by Assistant U.S. District Attorney Jeffrey Nedrow, included numerous exhibits of items that were found when a search warrant was executed on Anderson's residence. Novitzky also maintained that Bonds' testimony to the grand jury was inconsistent with what he'd learned in the rest of the investigation.

Defense attorney Allen Ruby cross-examined Novitzky for the remainder of the day's session, focusing largely on Novitzky's role in preparing witness Steve Hoskins, Bonds' former business manager, who is next on the government's witness list. Ruby asked numerous questions relating to whether reports were written of several meetings in which Novitzky discussed with Hoskins his upcoming testimony; each time the answer was, "No." The latest meeting was Monday.

Also, Ruby brought into evidence the FBI complaint by Bonds that Hoskins was fraudulently using his signature on memorabilia, and that the case was moved to the Seattle district of the U.S. Attorney's office to avoid a conflict of interest for the Northern California district. The Hoskins investigation subsequently was dropped by the authorities in Seattle.

The Ruby-Novitzky exchanges brought to an end an active first full day of the trial.

Once Illston swore in the jurors, giving them instructions on how the case will be conducted and of the charges, U.S. Assistant District Attorney Matthew Parrella and chief defense attorney Ruby presented their opening arguments to the jury.

In his opening statement, Parrella laid out the government's case by starting at the beginning of the BALCO investigation, when Novitzky did "trash runs" and "medical waste runs" to gather evidence. Once a warrant was obtained for the raid on BALCO, a "treasure trove" of different kinds of steroids was found in a storage locker, Parrella said. But even more "insidious," Parrella said, was the so-called designer steroids found there as well, including Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), then an undetectable substance also known as "the clear" developed by chemist Patrick Arnold.

Parrella connected Bonds and BALCO with a photo for a magazine advertisement for the firm's ZMA products that shows BALCO founder Victor Conte standing between Bonds and Anderson. Later, Parrella refered to them as the "three musketeers of BALCO," drawing an objection from Ruby that was sustained by Illston.

Parrella said Bonds told a "two-stage lie" to the BALCO grand jury: that he did not take the substances determined to be the "clear" and the "cream," and that Anderson gave him flaxseed oil and arthritis balm. Parrella called that part of Bonds' testimony, "Quite frankly, an utterly ridiculous and unbelievable story," a statement to which Illston sustained an objection from Ruby.

The defense went about opening arguments with the idea that in fact the totality of Bonds' grand-jury testimony will be key to his defense in that it shows he did not lie. "There is no perjury charge in this case, never has been," Ruby told the jury.

Ruby went on to establish a "mutual understanding" on some of the witnesses expected to be called, including Bonds' former mistress, Kimberly Bell, and former business manager Hoskins. Both broke ties with Bonds in 2003, Ruby calling the breakup with Bell "very, very unfriendly" and mentioning Bonds' query to the FBI about Hoskins. Ruby also went through a timeline of events leading up to Bonds' 2003 grand-jury testimony and his 2007 indictment.

"I know it doesn't make a great story: Barry Bonds went to the grand jury, told the truth and did his best. That doesn't make for a great TV movie, but that's what happened," Ruby said.

Anderson, who has served more than a year in prison already for refusing to testify to a federal grand jury, was present in court -- but only with the jury cleared from the courtroom -- alongside attorney Mark Geragos.

"It's his continued position that he's not going to testify in this matter," Geragos told the judge before asking that Anderson not be subjected to further incarceration.

Illston denied that motion. Parrella asked that Anderson be fined as well, but Illston denied that.

Anderson, dressed in a dark blue suit, was then taken by U.S. Marshals through a back door of the courtroom to be placed into custody. He will remain incarcerated for the remainder of the trial. Anderson served three months in prison for distributing anabolic steroids as part of the BALCO investigation.

During the direct examination of Novitzky, Illston instructed the jury that Anderson's name will come up but he is not available for the trial, and they may not infer anything about that or speculate as to why he's not available to testify.

John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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