Feds fight to keep BALCO evidence in play

Jonathan Littman
Yahoo! Sports

SAN FRANCISCO – In an attempt to get alleged BALCO drug testing logs and calendars admitted as evidence in their perjury case against Barry Bonds, federal prosecutors Monday filed grand jury testimony from Bonds that the slugger gave urine to his longtime personal trainer Greg Anderson, who passed it along to BALCO.

In a five-page brief, prosecutors argued to Judge Susan Ilston that the rules against hearsay should be waived because Anderson was acting as Bonds' courier to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. James Valente, the lab's former vice president, told a grand jury that Anderson gave him Bonds' urine samples. The government is trying to use this testimony in connecting Bonds to the calendars and logs.

The testimony, filed in federal court, was in response to Ilston's order that the prosecution brief her on the new arguments made in last week's evidentiary hearing. Ilston had said she was disinclined to admit the evidence prepared by Valente and Anderson without Anderson's testimony because she said it was "classic hearsay."

Anderson is alleged to have supplied the all-time home run leader with performance-enhancing drugs. Anderson served a year in jail rather than testify before the grand jury, and his lawyers say he will not testify in the Bonds trial. The government may call Valente to testify at trial.

Stan Conte, who quit as the Giants' head trainer a few months after his April 2006 grand jury testimony, testified that Bonds told him he was having his blood tested. Conte said Bonds told him BALCO was developing a supplement program specific to him based on a blood analysis.

Bonds faces 10 counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice related to his grand-jury testimony about whether or not he used steroids. His trial is set for March 2 and is expected to last three to four weeks. Also Monday, Illston ordered that the court select a 12-member jury panel with two alternates from a pool of 90 pre-screened prospective jurors.

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