- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - One by one, they walked down the aisle of Courtroom 10 and took a seat on the witness stand for their public day of reckoning.

First Jason Giambi, the 2000 American League MVP. Then his brother Jeremy. And finally Marvin Benard, Barry BondsSan Francisco Giants teammate.

In the biggest mass confession to steroids use in baseball history, the trio testified Tuesday at Bonds‘ trial. They all said they purchased and used performance-enhancing drugs from Greg Anderson, the trainer who is in jail for his refusal to testify against Bonds.

“I understood what it was. A steroid,” Jeremy Giambi said.


All three had told their stories to a grand jury in 2003, and many details of that testimony were published by the San Francisco Chronicle the following year. And the Mitchell Report in December 2007 detailed the rise of baseball’s Steroids Era.

But that was on paper. On Tuesday, the players were forced to answer questions in public from a federal prosecutor about how, when and why they took performance-enhancing drugs.

While Jason Giambi was a cleanup hitter for most of his career, the former Oakland and New York Yankees star led off the athlete testimony on the afternoon of the trial’s sixth day. Now a 40-year-old first baseman for the Colorado Rockies, he said he first met Anderson when the trainer accompanied Bonds on the All-Star tour of Japan following the 2002 season _ just before the onset of drug testing in baseball. Giambi and Bonds were separated by only an empty locker in the All-Star clubhouse, and Giambi was aware that Anderson worked with Bonds.

When they returned to the U.S., Jason Giambi flew from his home in Henderson, Nev., to meet Anderson in the Bay Area, and Anderson said he would have Giambi’s blood tested to determine whether he was deficient in “zinc” and “magnesium.” When the results came back, Anderson informed Giambi his sample was positive for the steroid Deca-Durabolin.

“He told me that would trip the Major League Baseball test, and I should look into taking something else,” said Jason Giambi, wearing a blue suit, white shirt with checks and black-red-and-white striped tie. “He said he would send me a package of things that I needed.”

By mid-December, Anderson sent testosterone to Giambi along with syringes and vitamins.

“Did you understand that to be a steroid?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey D. Nedrow asked.

“Yes,” Giambi answered.

Bonds is charged with four counts of making false statements to the grand jury and one count of obstruction for denying he knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. He told the grand jury that Anderson had told him he was taking “flaxseed oil” and “arthritic balm,” which in reality were designer steroids nicknamed “the clear” and “the cream.”

With the courtroom full and getting warm, Giambi, a five-time All-Star with 415 career home runs, said Anderson explained how the two designer steroids worked by raising both testosterone and epitestosterone and keeping the ratio roughly the same as naturally occurs, so as not to “trip a drug test.”

“It was very secretive to get your hands on it,” Giambi said.

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