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Anderson avoids jail, refuses to testify

Contempt hearing postponed

By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service

August 18, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Personal trainer Greg Anderson again refused to answer a grand jury's question in federal court yesterday of whether he provided Giants slugger Barry Bonds with performance enhancing drugs.

But unlike a previous grand jury session in which he was completely uncooperative, Anderson yesterday answered some questions, leaving his attorney Mark Geragos with an opportunity to postpone the contempt hearing to Aug. 28.

U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup asked for a transcript of yesterday's testimony so he and Geragos could review which questions were answered and which were not. An official transcript could not be made immediately available, however, and the case was moved to the future date.

But a few details of the testimony were made public. Federal prosecutor Matt Parrella told Alsup that Anderson told the grand jury his name and admitted that he had received a subpoena to appear in an investigation into possible perjury. Parrella also said Anderson refused to answer a question of whether he specifically distributed anabolic steroids to Bonds.

Alsup said he is more concerned with the pertinent questions and would rather avoid a "meaningless round of briefing."

"We know what's happened," Alsup said. "He's refused to answer. We've briefed this thing to death."

If found in contempt, Anderson could be imprisoned for the term of the panel, around 12 18 months.

After Anderson left the court for the day, he appeared outside the federal building with Geragos who said he is looking into using information leaked to two San Francisco Chronicle reporters to substitute for Anderson's testimony.

Those reporters, Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, are currently facing jail time themselves for refusing to reveal confidential sources.

Anderson, 40, is one of four people indicted in a 2004 sports steroids scandal centered around the Burlingame-based Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, or BALCO. He has publicly refused to testify against Bonds and has already spent 15 days in jail for refusing to testify before a previous grand jury.

A number of athletes, including Bonds, testified in that grand jury probe. None of the athletes have been charged with any crimes. The current grand jury is looking into whether or not Bonds perjured himself.

Federal prosecutors argued earlier this afternoon that Anderson should be held in contempt because he has refused to testify four times already.

But Alsup agreed to give Anderson another chance to testify in this perjury case. He went into the grand jury room at 2:30 p.m. and finished just before 4:15 p.m.

After he returned to court, Alsup said that, while he was favoring the government's argument, there was a "conceivable possibility" that the witness was cooperating, and federal prosecutors would have to put together a new argument in light of that cooperation.

The next appearance will be Monday, Aug. 28 at 1 p.m. Anderson has already pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to give anabolic steroids to athletes and money laundering. He was sentenced to three months in jail and three months of home detention.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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