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Unsealed document could help Bonds

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SAN FRANCISCO – Newly unsealed search warrant affidavits in the Barry Bonds perjury case reveal that Jeff Novitzky, the lead agent in the steroids investigation, believed that former BALCO vice president James Valente falsified records to cover up a drug test of the home run king.

The information could help Bonds in his perjury case, legal experts say. The prosecution has argued that BALCO drug tests and ledgers should be admissible evidence because Valente is a sufficiently credible witness to make up for the absence of Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal trainer who has said he will not testify. However, Novitzky's affidavit raises questions about Valente's integrity.

Bonds is scheduled to be tried for 10 counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice March 2 in federal court.

Novitzky's July 25, 2003, sworn affidavit unsealed in federal court Thursday asserts that Valente purposely misrepresented the source of a specimen sent to a testing lab. Novitzky said that while examining BALCO's trash, he found a fax from BALCO to LabOne signed by Valente, stating that a specimen sent Feb. 5, 2003 labeled as "Barry B." was "mislabeled and instead should read 'Greg Anderson.' "

Novitzky called the affidavit highly suspicious. "Nowhere on this document or any other similar BALCO Labs document that I have observed during the course of my investigation have I seen Greg Anderson reflected as having a specimen taken by BALCO Labs, suggesting a conscious effort to conceal Bonds' name being associated with a specimen that was sent for testing."

Novitzky recounted that he found documents related to a Bonds specimen and phony affidavit while inspecting BALCO trash. "As detailed below, the specific document seized on March 3, 2003, reflects that on Feb. 5, 2003, at 9:30, patient Barry Bonds had an RBC and plasma specimen taken under the physician name of Goldman."

The following page includes a copy of the Valente affidavit, which says that the specimen for "Barry B." had been "mislabeled." Valente stated, "I certify that to my personal knowledge the specimen(s) labeled as indicated are in fact specimen(s) for Greg Anderson."