Conte, Anderson to keep transcripts

February 15, 2008 7:13:07 PM PST
A judge overseeing the BALCO steroids case in has ruled against the government and says BALCO founder Victor Conte and Barry Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, can keep evidence prosecutors turned over to them from the investigation.

The BALCO steroids case was back in court Friday. The U.S. Attorney wanted to prevent another leak by taking back grand jury transcripts given to BALCO defense lawyers years ago. However, a judge turned them down.

Their cases are long over, but BALCO lab founder, Victor Conte, and Barry Bonds' former personal trainer, Greg Anderson, were back in San Francisco federal court Friday.

This time, the government wanted to take back 2,000 pages of secret grand jury transcripts and search warrant affidavits given to the BALCO defense lawyers four years ago. Prosecutors told the judge they're afraid the documents will be leaked.

However, the defense attorneys said virtually everything has already been leaked and is available to anyone with an Internet connection. They also say they still need the transcripts to prepare their clients for possible future cases.

"Barry Bonds or any of the cases that are coming out of the BALCO investigation," said Ed Swanson, Victor Conte's attorney.

The judge said she saw "no reason to change the status quo," and turned down the prosecutors request to take back the documents.

Conte won't talk about what he may or may not know about Barry Bonds, but he has a lot to say about Major League Baseball.

"It's my opinion that Bud Selig and Donald Fehr are the ones that should be in the hot seat, not Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens," said Conte.

He says the commissioner and baseball association executive director are the only ones who have the power to change the game's drug testing policies and procedures.

"They continue to be a joke. And how they step forward and resolve that is to mandate off-season testing and to increase the frequency of in-season testing. At the moment, they have one test that's required at training camp, and that's not really a drug test in my opinion, that's more of an IQ test because you have to be very dumb to show up and test positive," said Conte.

Conte's lawyer says, so far, none of the four original BALCO defendants has been given any notice that they might be called as witnesses at Bonds' not-yet-scheduled trial.