Thu, Mar 04, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Barry Bonds may be caught in a lie in `Chronicle' story


Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield were hounded again after a report named them among six major leaguers who received steroids from the nutritional supplements lab implicated in a drug-distribution ring.

Bonds walked silently through the San Francisco Giants' clubhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona, replying only, "Get out of my locker," when asked about the report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Citing information it said was given to federal investigators, the newspaper reported Tuesday that Bonds was given the substances by his personal trainer -- who got them from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

According to the newspaper, investigators also were told that steroids were given to Giambi, Sheffield, Marvin Benard of the White Sox, and Benito Santiago of the Royals, former Oakland Athletics infielder Randy Velarde and linebacker Bill Romanowski, who was released Tuesday by the Oakland Raiders after failing a physical.

Bonds' attorney, Michael Rains, issued a statement Tuesday saying: "We continue to adamantly deny that Barry was provided, furnished or supplied any illegal substances at any time by Greg Anderson. This latest pronouncement is a complete disregard to the truth."

At the Yankees' spring training camp in Tampa, Florida, Giambi and Sheffield wouldn't directly address the report.

"Speculation doesn't bother me. It's as simple as that," Sheffield said. "I deal with it. You know I don't like dealing with issues. You know I don't like dealing with controversy. Nobody likes to do that."

In Mesa, Arizona, Sammy Sosa said he wants his personal assistant to stay around the team, despite baseball's crackdown limiting clubhouse access.

Commissioner Bud Selig last month sent a memorandum to the 30 teams banning personal trainers, friends and agents from "all playing fields, dugouts, clubhouses and related facilities."

Sosa wants to make it clear that Julian Martinez -- hired by the Cubs star in 2001 to help him do chores and who often plays catch with Sosa -- is not a personal trainer. Cubs officials are confident they can work out an agreement to everyone's satisfaction, perhaps allowing Martinez to pitch batting practice, get out of uniform and then man a radar gun in the stands during games.

In Cincinnati, Marge Schott, the tough-talking, chain-smoking owner of the Reds who won a World Series and was repeatedly suspended for offensive remarks, died. She was 75.

Schott was hospitalized about three weeks ago for breathing difficulties and repeatedly needed treatment for lung problems in recent years. Christ Hospital spokeswoman Dona Buckler did not release a cause of death.

In Tampa, the New York Yankees received good news about ailing starting pitchers Jose Contreras and Jon Lieber.

Contreras, who was scratched from Tuesday's intrasquad game one day earlier because of lower back stiffness, took part in onfield drills and said he will be ready to make his first scheduled spring training start Sunday against Boston.

Lieber continued playing catch and said he expects to throw off a mound Wednesday.

In an intrasquad game, Alex Rodriguez was hitless in two at-bats and did not have a fielding chance at third base. It was the first time the 2003 AL MVP, acquired in a trade from Texas on Feb. 16, played his new position in a game setting.

The Yankees also finalized their one-year, US$2.25 million contract with first baseman Travis Lee.

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