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