NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball is looking into Barry Bonds' relationships and activities, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
Citing anonymous baseball sources, the newspaper reported in its Sunday editions that baseball security officials believe Bonds might be at risk of conviction over allegations of tax fraud involving undeclared income from memorabilia sales. However, baseball investigators are having difficulty conducting their own probe because "a federal investigation changes everything," a source told the Daily News.
One official from another team told the Daily News that the San Francisco Giants' front office "is starting to freak out" over Bonds' problems.
"I think they realize they've let the situation get away from them," the official told the Daily News.
The Giants outfielder, who has been at the center of baseball's steroids scandal, has yet to play this season as he recovers from knee surgeries.
The most recent Bonds controversy involves him using his own doctors and trainers to treat his injured right knee. The 40-year-old slugger has had three surgeries on the knee since Jan. 31, the last coming Monday as doctors tried to clean out an infection.
Bonds' surgeon, Dr. Albert Ting, has been reprimanded twice by the California state medical board and is on probation for "unprofessional conduct," according to The Arizona Republic.
The Daily News reported baseball was not happy to hear that another associate of Bonds has had trouble with the law.
Baseball first became concerned about Bonds when law enforcement agents raided the home of his personal trainer and longtime friend Greg Anderson in September 2003 as part of the investigation of an alleged steroids distribution ring involving Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative founder Victor Conte.
Bonds gave grand jury testimony in the case and, according to reports in The San Francisco Chronicle, said he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by Anderson, who was indicted in the BALCO case. Bonds said he didn't know if they were steroids.
The Daily News reported that MLB officials aren't sure where their investigation will lead or what action they would take if they find Bonds has violated baseball's rules. Although suspension is a possibility, the Daily News reported that baseball will more likely encourage teams to keep a closer eye on players.
Bonds has 703 career home runs, 11 behind Babe Ruth and 52 from tying Hank Aaron's career record.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.