SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds avoided specifics Thursday when
asked about the latest doping allegations against him, instead
unleashing a flurry of expletives toward sprinter Tim Montgomery.
Montgomery reportedly testified to a grand jury that the man at
the center of a Bay Area steroid scandal told him he supplied the
San Francisco Giants' slugger with performance-enhancing drugs.
"I ain't never met Tim Montgomery. I don't know Tim Montgomery.
I've never seen the dude in my life," Bonds said before the
Giants' game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I don't even know
what the guy does."
According to a report Thursday in the San Francisco Chronicle,
Montgomery testified last year that BALCO founder Victor Conte told
him Bonds switched to an undetectable steroid in 2003 when baseball
introduced its drug policy.
Asked if he feels betrayed by someone he doesn't know, Bonds
said: "Betrayed by someone I've never met before? I didn't get
betrayed. ... I don't even know who he is. So how he's making
accusations of me I don't even know."
The newspaper's report included direct quotes from Montgomery's
testimony to the federal grand jury that investigated the Bay Area
Laboratory Co-Operative. The Chronicle did not say how it obtained
the information; it is illegal to give grand jury testimony to the media.
"It's stupid. I didn't read the thing. I just heard about it," Bonds said.
The six-time NL MVP, who turns 40 next month, has repeatedly denied steroid use. He is third on the career home run list with 676, trailing Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).
"It bothers me when people I don't even know are saying stuff
about me," said Bonds, who hasn't homered in nine games. "Next
time, if I know for sure so-and-so, they're going to talk to my
lawyer from now on, I guarantee that. If any of them statements are
true, they're going to talk to my attorney, I guarantee that -- in a
lawsuit. ... See you in court, brother."
According to the Chronicle, prosecutor Jeff Nedrow asked Montgomery about Conte's dealings with Bonds.
"Did he say he gave any steroids, Winstrol or any of the other ones to Mr. Bonds?" Nedrow asked.
"Yes, he did," Montgomery replied.
"Did he say specifically which ones?"
"Winstrol," Montgomery said.
Winstrol is the same steroid Ben Johnson used before being
disqualified in the 1988 Olympics. Montgomery testified that Conte
told him Bonds switched to an undetectable steroid in 2003.
"I have reason to have serious doubts about the accuracy of all
that," Bonds' attorney, Michael Rains, told the Chronicle. "I
doubt very much that Conte would be talking about anything he's
giving to anybody."
Conte's attorney, Robert
Holley said his client never would have confided in Montgomery. He
added that the sprinter split with Conte in 2001 and would have had
no way to know what went on with Bonds in 2003.
"Victor Conte has repeatedly said from the very beginning
that he has never provided Barry Bonds with steroids, has never
seen Barry Bonds take steroids or take any kind of
performance-enhancing drugs," Holley said late Thursday evening.
Bonds, who set the single-season home run record of 73 in 2001,
hasn't seemed distracted by all the steroid questions. His personal
trainer and longtime friend, Greg Anderson, was among four men
charged in a drug distribution ring earlier this year.
In April, Bonds homered in seven straight games, one shy of the major league record. His last homer was June 13 at Baltimore.
Giants owner Peter Magowan isn't concerned about the latest
report tarnishing the image of the Giants or Bonds, the pillar of
"What I have said is I've never seen anybody who can block
things out like Barry can," Magowan said, also referring to the
death of Bonds' father, Bobby, last year. "As far as the rest of
the team is concerned, they're all putting it to the side, which is
to their credit. That's difficult to do.
"I've got strong feelings about it [the steroid scandal], but I
can't talk about it now. There might come a time when I can."
Giants players have said they will not let Bonds' involvement in the
steroid investigation distract them.
"He's our teammate and we support him 100 percent," closer
Matt Herges said Thursday. "The ultimate goal is to get to the
World Series and win it, and we're not going to let it affect us."
Montgomery, the world's fastest man, testified last year that he used human growth hormone and an undetectable steroid. He was told Wednesday that he
faces a lifetime ban from the sport despite his repeated public denials that he has used any performance-enhancing drugs.
His lawyer lashed out at the leak of his secret testimony.
Montgomery was among dozens of elite athletes -- including Bonds,
Jason Giambi and Montgomery's girlfriend, Olympian Marion Jones --
who answered the grand jury's questions under threat of perjury.
"No one can legally or legitimately have Tim's grand jury
testimony, and if they think they have it, I would like to see
it," Montgomery's attorney, Cristina Arguedas, told the Chronicle. "Otherwise,
there's no way I can respond to these blind allegations, and I'm
not going to comment on it."
On Nov. 6, 2003, Montgomery reportedly testified that in 2001 Conte gave him weekly doses of human growth
hormone and a substance called "the clear" -- which Montgomery referred to as a "magic potion."
Montgomery said he was told "the clear" was not an illegal
steroid, but that he understood that HGH is a banned substance.
Montgomery set a world record of 9.78 seconds in the 100 meters in 2002.
"The clear" was later determined to be THG, a previously
undetectable steroid at the center of the BALCO scandal, which now
threatens to keep some of America's top sprinters out of the Athens
In additions to Montgomery, Michelle Collins, Alvin Harrison and Chryste Gaines
have been accused by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of steroid use.
The agency, based in Colorado Springs, told Montgomery that it is
seeking to ban him from the sport for life, two
sources familiar with the USADA's warning letter told The Associated Press on
Wednesday on condition of anonymity.
"USADA's leap to judgment on the flimsiest so-called 'evidence'
confirms our worst suspicions -- that it is resorting to
McCarthy-like tactics in its efforts to ruin Tim's reputation,"
Howard Jacobs, another Montgomery attorney, said in a statement
USADA does not have access to the grand jury testimony but is
using documents obtained in the investigation to implicate athletes
without positive drug tests.
Collins, the 2003 world indoor champion at 200 meters and
potential medalist in the Athens Games, also was notified USADA
would seek to ban her for life, according to her lawyer, Brian
Getz, who said he plans to appeal.
Three-time gold medalist Marion Jones, the mother of Montgomery's son,
also is under investigation by USADA but has not been accused of
any wrongdoing. Montgomery was not asked at the grand jury about
whether Jones used illegal steroids, the Chronicle reported.
Montgomery did testify that Conte began giving him banned
substances soon after the 2000 Olympics, the newspaper reported.
"How many times did he give you human growth hormone?" Nedrow
asked Montgomery at one point.
"He would send four vials a month," Montgomery answered.
Montgomery told Nedrow he had followed the regimen for "maybe
eight months." He said he got no benefit from "the clear" and
split with Conte in September 2001 over a money dispute. He broke
the world record the following year.
Information from The Associated Press and the San Francisco Chronicle was used in this report.