Former girlfriend Bell tells of Bonds’ steroid use

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With that, Arguedas took a break to talk with Allen Ruby, Bonds‘ lead lawyer. After a few moments, Arguedas told the court: “We’re going to decline that opportunity to go into the gutter. No more questions.”

At the start of the day, Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy testified that Bonds‘ hat size increased from 7 1/4 to 7 3-8 in 2002. Murphy said that while Willie Mays and Willie McCovey needed larger hats, their increases did not happen until after they had retired as players.

Former Giants head athletic trainer Stan Conte is to testify Tuesday along with former AL MVP Jason Giambi, brother Jeremy Giambi and Randy Velarde, other players linked to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which ran a steroids distribution ring.

While there were empty seats in the court room last week, the wood benches were filled for Bell’s testimony and about a dozen people waited on line outside for one of the approximately 50 seats available to the public.

Bell testified Bonds revealed his steroids use to her only once, between 1999 and 2000 at her apartment.

“He had an injury on his elbow and it was a big lump on his elbow,” she said. “It looked really awful, and he said it was because of steroids. … somehow it caused the muscle and the tendons to grow faster than the joint itself could handle.”

Bonds had left elbow surgery on April 20, 1999, and was on the disabled list until June 9. He holds the MLB records for home runs in a career (762) and a single season (73).

Under questioning from Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey D. Nedrow, Bell said Bonds told her “he didn’t shoot it up every day like body builders did.”

“That’s how they were getting ahead, that’s how they were achieving, by using steroids,” she quoted Bonds as saying. She went on to say this was the period “when Mark McGwire was breaking records.”

Dressed in a dark blue suit, light blue shirt and blue-and-silver patterned tie, Bonds alternately watched Bell on the stand, scribbled notes and whispered to one of his defense attorneys, Allen Ruby. A few times, Bonds put on reading glasses.

Bell met Bonds briefly outside Candlestick Park on July 3, 1994, when she was introduced by Kathy Hoskins, a former personal shopper for Bonds who also is expected to testify.

“He said: ‘Damn girl, you’re fine,’” said Bell, who occasionally dabbed at tears.

She attended a barbecue the next day at Bonds‘ mother’s house, and Bonds arrived with Bobby Bonilla. From there, they shared a romantic relationship that continued even after Bonds married Liz Watson, who became his second wife in 1999.

In anticipation of defense attempts to discredit Bell, Nedrow asked about an interview and nude photograph shoot she did with Playboy that appeared in 2007.

“I was trying to put my life together,” she testified. “Maybe it wasn’t the best decision.”

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