Draco Posted December 2, 2004 Share Posted December 2, 2004 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...12/02/BALCO.TMP Giambi admitted taking steroids Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, Chronicle Staff Writers Thursday, December 2, 2004 New York Yankees star Jason Giambi told a federal grand jury that he had injected himself with human growth hormone during the 2003 baseball season and had started using steroids at least two years earlier, The Chronicle has learned. Giambi has publicly denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but his Dec. 11, 2003, testimony in the BALCO steroids case contradicts those statements, according to a transcript of the grand jury proceedings reviewed by The Chronicle. The onetime Oakland A's first baseman and 2000 American League Most Valuable Player testified that in 2003, when he hit 41 home runs for the Yankees, he had used several different steroids obtained from Greg Anderson, weight trainer for San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds. In his testimony, Giambi described how he had used syringes to inject human growth hormone into his stomach and testosterone into his buttocks. Giambi also said he had taken "undetectable" steroids known as "the clear" and "the cream" -- one a liquid administered by placing a few drops under the tongue, the other a testosterone-based balm rubbed onto the body. The 33-year-old Yankee said Anderson had provided him with all of the drugs except for human growth hormone, which he said he had obtained at a Las Vegas gym. Anderson also provided him syringes, Giambi said. Agent Arn Tellem, who accompanied Giambi and his younger brother, Jeremy, to the grand jury, did not return calls seeking comment. Other efforts to reach the Giambis were unsuccessful. Anderson has denied wrongdoing in the BALCO case. His attorney, J. Tony Serra, declined comment, citing a court order aimed at preserving the secrecy of grand jury proceedings. The Giambis were among more than two dozen elite athletes summoned to San Francisco last year to testify in the federal investigation centered on the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a Burlingame nutritional business suspected of distributing "designer" steroids to elite athletes. In February, the grand jury indicted Anderson, BALCO founder Victor Conte and two other men on charges of conspiracy to distribute steroids and money laundering. They have pleaded not guilty. Jeremy Giambi, a former A's outfielder who spent 2004 with the minor league Las Vegas 51s, also told the BALCO grand jury that he had injected banned drugs received from Anderson, according to a transcript of his testimony. Both Giambis testified that they had already used steroids before they met Anderson or heard of BALCO, and they said they were drawn to the trainer because of Bonds' success. Bonds has denied using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Jason Giambi hit 94 home runs in three seasons with the Yankees. But he played in fewer than half the team's games this year, reportedly ill with an intestinal parasite and a benign tumor on his pituitary gland. His ties to BALCO fueled speculation that his illness was related to steroid use, but he told reporters in August that there was no connection. In front of the grand jury, the Giambi brothers were instructed that they had been granted immunity from prosecution if they told the truth but faced perjury charges if they lied. In his testimony, Jason Giambi told the grand jury he had used the injectable steroid Deca Durabolin "two years ago" -- that is, in 2001, his last year with Oakland -- after obtaining the drug from a source at a Gold's Gym in Las Vegas. Giambi said he had met Anderson in November 2002, when Bonds brought the trainer to join a group of big-leaguers on a barnstorming tour of Japan. Giambi said he had queried Anderson about Bonds' workout and health regimens. "So I started to ask him: 'Hey, what are the things you're doing with Barry? He's an incredible player. I want to still be able to work out at that age and keep playing,' " Giambi testified. "And that's how the conversation first started." Giambi said Anderson had suggested getting his blood tested for mineral deficiencies and taking supplements to counter those shortages; it was a snapshot description of the legitimate business BALCO performed for athletes. Giambi called Anderson upon returning to the States, then flew to the Bay Area in late November or early December 2002 and met him in Burlingame at a gym down the street from BALCO, he told the grand jury. From there, the two men went to a hospital for Giambi to provide blood and urine samples, which were taken to BALCO, Giambi testified. Either during that meeting or in a phone conversation shortly thereafter, Giambi said, Anderson began discussing various performance-enhancing drugs he could provide the ballplayer. Also, when Anderson received the results of Giambi's blood and urine tests, Anderson told him he had tested positive for Deca Durabolin, the steroid Giambi said he had obtained at the Las Vegas gym. Giambi said Anderson had warned him to stop using it, saying it could stay in his system a long time. At the time, baseball was implementing its first-ever steroids-testing program at the major-league level, during the 2003 season. It is illegal to obtain steroids or human growth hormone without a doctor's prescription. During his testimony, the 10-year veteran described how Anderson had begun sending him several different performance-enhancers, including a batch of injectable testosterone, "the cream" and "the clear." Giambi also testified that Anderson had advised him about the use of the human growth hormone he had obtained at the gym in Las Vegas. Anderson kept him supplied with drugs through the All-Star break in July 2003, Giambi said. He said he had received a second and final batch of testosterone in July but opted not to use it because he had a knee injury and "didn't want to do any more damage." "Did Mr. Anderson provide you with actual injectable testosterone?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nedrow asked Giambi. "Yes," replied Giambi. Nedrow then referred Giambi to an alleged calender of drug use seized during a raid on Anderson's home. Addressing a January 2003 entry, the prosecutor said: "OK. And this injectable T, or testosterone, is basically a steroid, correct?" "Yes." "And did he talk to you about the fact it was a steroid at the time?" "Yeah, I mean, I -- I don't know if we got into a conversation about it, but we both knew about it, yes," Giambi told the grand jury. Giambi said Anderson described "the cream" and "the clear" as "an alternative to steroids, but it doesn't show on a steroid test. "And he started talking about that it would raise your testosterone levels, you know, which would basically make it a steroid ... or maybe he said it's an alternative of taking an injectable steroid," Giambi said. "That might be a better way to put it." Giambi also described for the grand jury how he had injected the testosterone and human growth hormone, which he said Anderson told him he could provide if Giambi couldn't get it elsewhere. The growth hormone was taken "subcutaneous ... so like you would pinch the fat on your stomach" and inject the substance just below the skin, Giambi testified. Asked whether the same were true for testosterone, Giambi told the prosecutor that it called for a regular injection. "So, you would put it in your arm?" Nedrow asked. "No, you wouldn't," Giambi said. "You'd put it in your ass." Giambi said he wasn't worried about testing positive for testosterone because he had only taken the drug during the off-season, and Anderson assured him it would be out of his system before he was called for a steroid test. Nedrow also asked Giambi about several different-colored pills Anderson provided; they were denoted on calendars as "Y" for yellow, "W" for white and "O" for orange, according to the ballplayer. Giambi testified that he didn't know what the pills were, though he thought the white one might have been Clomid, a female fertility drug that can enhance the effectiveness of testosterone. His use of the drug was reflected on a calendar, the prosecutor said. "I don't know what they were," Giambi testified. "He didn't really explain them. He just had told me to take them. And it had -- he explained it has something to do with the system. ... He just said to take it in conjunction with all the stuff." Giambi said Anderson had led him to believe that he was among a select few athletes dealing with the trainer. He made it "sound like I even needed a lottery ticket to even talk to him about it," Giambi said. "Did he ever say, 'Don't be talking about getting stuff from me?' " asked Nedrow. "That's what I mean by saying that he made it so, you know, private, that you know, 'Hey, don't say anything, don't talk about anything,' " Giambi told the grand jury. "You know, I assumed because he's Barry's trainer -- you know, Barry -- but he never said one time, 'This is what Barry's taking, this is what Barry's doing.' He never gave up another name that he was dealing with or doing anything with." Giambi said he had spent somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000 on performance-enhancers provided by the trainer. Toward the end of his grand jury testimony, which followed a 2003 season in which he nursed the knee injury and hit just .250, Giambi was asked, "Had this all not become public, would you still be using?" "I didn't actually notice a huge difference, to be honest with you," Giambi answered. "I, of course, got injured this year. So, that's not a fair assessment, either. Maybe, yes, no, I don't know." Finally, Nedrow asked Giambi whether Anderson had done anything to help the player with his weight-training regimen "or was it more on these things?" Said Giambi: "It was more on these things." Giambi, a five-time All-Star, played his first seven seasons in Oakland, emerging as one of the game's top stars. After the 2001 season, the 6-foot-3-inch, 235-pound slugger signed a seven-year, $120 million contract with the Yankees. Two months after testifying before the grand jury, Giambi reported to spring training this year looking considerably thinner, though he insisted he had lost just four pounds. There was speculation that the weight loss stemmed from Giambi's stopping the use of steroids. Asked by reporters during spring training whether he ever used performance-enhancing drugs, Giambi said, "Are you talking about steroids? No." Steroids talk swirled around Giambi again when he was sidelined during the season by mysterious ailments: first a reported intestinal parasite, then the tumor. Both he and the Yankees were tight-lipped about the tumor, refusing to disclose its location or treatment. The New York Daily News reported Sept. 3 that the tumor was in his pituitary gland, which is at the base of the brain, and that Giambi's secrecy had stemmed from fears that news about the diagnosis would lead to further speculation about steroid use. Medical experts told The Chronicle that Clomid, the female fertility drug that Giambi was questioned about, can exacerbate a tumor of the pituitary gland. The drug's label warns physicians not to prescribe Clomid to patients with pituitary tumors. Giambi ultimately played in only 80 games during the season and was left off the postseason roster. He finished with a .208 batting average, 12 home runs and 40 runs batted in. Giambi also testified that he had helped his younger brother Jeremy, who played with the A's from 2000 to 2002, to obtain drugs from Anderson. Jeremy Giambi's testimony mirrored his brother's -- right down to Anderson's notifying him that he had tested positive for the steroid Deca Durabolin. Jeremy Giambi described to the grand jury how he had injected human growth hormone and testosterone he received from the trainer before the start of the 2003 season, when he played for the Boston Red Sox. The younger Giambi testified that he knew testosterone was a steroid but that Anderson had described "the clear" and "the cream" only as undetectable "alternatives to steroids." "For all I knew, it could have been baby lotion," Jeremy Giambi told the grand jury. Jeremy Giambi, 30, also told the grand jury that he had taken several different-colored pills provided by Anderson even though he didn't know what they were. Nedrow asked Jeremy Giambi why he trusted Anderson. "I don't know, I guess -- I mean, you're right," Jeremy Giambi testified. "I probably shouldn't have trusted the guy. But I just felt like, you know, what he had done for Barry and, you know, I didn't think the guy would send me something that was, you know, Drano or something, you know, I mean, I hope he wouldn't." Nedrow suggested Jeremy Giambi probably also trusted Anderson's drugs because his brother had taken them, too. Said Jeremy: "Yeah, and Jason didn't die." 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