Steroids expert tells Bonds jury about designer drugs

Barry Bonds, left foreground facing camera, goes through security as he arrives at the federal courthouse for his criminal trial, Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

March 24, 2011 7:02:10 PM PDT
Reporters struggled to find a headline at Thursday's session of the Barry Bonds perjury trial.

The testimony of USADA Chief Science Officer Larry Bowers was marked by long periods of eye-glazing testimony riddled with multi-syllabic scientific terms, punctuated by the occasional references to sexual organs.

Bonds lead defense attorney Allen Ruby had a near-Shakespearian moment when he entoned "scrotum" in his booming baritone. He was asking expert witness Dr. Larry Bowers if steroid use causes any changes in the scrotum. It is known to cause testicular atrophy. Bowers said the scrotum is not affected.

It was surprising to learn that there is a study establishing the amount of testicular diminution linked to steroid use; it's ¼-inch reduction in length. Ruby spent cross-examination trying to establish the vague nature of research on steroid and human growth hormone side effects.

Prosecutors intend to link Bonds to steroid use with witnesses saying Bonds exhibited the side effects listed by Bowers. One shudders to think about next week's cross examination of former mistress Kimberley Bell.

This morning we learned that Bonds had two Bentleys in 2003. One worth $200,000, another valued at $400,000, plus four other vehicles. Except for the fact that the more expensive Bentley was a part of a deal involving former business partner Steve Hoskins, the relevance of those facts is unknown right now.

The trial resumes Monday.