Fmr BALCO attorney Troy Ellerman talks to ABC7

April 14, 2011 12:28:16 AM PDT
Wednesday's verdict in the Barry Bonds perjury trial is the result of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, federal investigation that all began in 2003. Much of what we first learned of the investigation came from a man named Troy Ellerman. He is the former BALCO attorney who leaked athletes' names to two San Francisco Chronicle reporters. ABC7 talked to Ellerman in Sacramento about why he did and whether it was worth it.

"It's a pretty lonely, dark feeling and that's probably where Barry is right now," said Ellerman.

Ellerman is one of the casualties of the Bonds steroid scandal. He served almost two years in federal prison for leaking the grand jury testimony that led to Bonds' perjury trial.

"I did it because I believed that it was going to put a face to the steroid issue," said Ellerman.

At the time, federal prosecutors were only targeting the unknown distributers of the performance enhancing drugs, not the athletes.

"All the names were changed to generic names like 'baseball player,' 'football player,'" said Ellerman.

Had he not leaked the names of Bonds and other athletes, Ellerman believes baseball would not have changed.

"They did have some testing policies in place, probably would have still been there, but not as strong as they are today. They wouldn't test at the high school level. They wouldn't test at the college level. Congress wouldn't have gotten involved," said Ellerman.

When asked if he would do it again, Ellerman said no.

"My son had to suffer. My wife had to suffer and you have to consider the circle around you," said Ellerman.

Ellerman now hopes Bonds will admit he took steroids and become the most influential voice against performance enhancing drugs.