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Bonds trainder found in contempt
for refusing to testify

By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service

July 5, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A personal trainer for Giants slugger Barry Bonds was found in contempt of court and ordered jailed by a federal judge in San Francisco today for refusing to testify before a grand jury.

Greg Anderson, 40, of Burlingame, was led out of the Federal Building courtroom of U.S. District Judge William Alsup by two deputy U.S. marshals. He is to be housed at a federal prison in Dublin.

Alsup told Anderson, "This is meant to encourage you to change your mind" about testifying.

The judge said as he found Anderson in contempt of court, "There is not any question that the particular inquiries made of you (by the grand jury) are proper."

Alsup said the details of the grand jury investigation are secret, but said the panel is looking into the truthfulness of previous grand jury testimony by "several athletes, some of whom are Greg Anderson's clients."

The previous case concerned a sports steroid scandal centered around the Burlingame-based Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, or BALCO. A number of athletes, including Bonds, testified before a grand jury in that probe, but none were charged with crimes.

The earlier grand jury indicted Anderson and three other men, including BALCO founder Victor Conte, in 2004 on 42 counts including giving steroids to professional athletes and money laundering. All four pleaded guilty to reduced charges last year and were given sentences ranging from probation to eight months in custody.

Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute anabolic steroids to athletes and one count of money laundering and was sentenced to three months in jail and three months of home detention.

Anderson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, said he planned to appeal the contempt of court order immediately to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The attorney handed the judge a notice of the appeal.

Alsup rejected Geragos's plea for a stay until Monday. The judge said he was concerned about delay because the grand jury's term will expire in about two weeks.

The judge said, "The grand jury must continue its work so that wrongdoers can be indicted and the innocent not indicted."

Alsup rejected Anderson's arguments that the trainer should not have to testify because prosecutors were basing the investigation on an allegedly illegal wiretap and because the request for testimony violated his plea agreement.

In the recorded conversation, Anderson allegedly said he provided Bonds with undetectable drugs.

Alsup said there was no showing that the tape, which he said was privately recorded and not made by the government, was illegal. But the judge said that in any case, it was not relevant because prosecutors have agreed that the grand jury will not ask questions based on that tape.

The judge also said there was "a huge difference" between the plea agreement, which did not include a pledge by Anderson to cooperate voluntarily with future government probes, and the grand jury subpoena requiring Anderson to testify.

Alsup said Anderson's objections "are not a legally sufficient basis and not a just cause for refusing to answer these questions."

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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