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Bonds' business manager says Giants star admitted using steroids

renjith krishnan/freedigitalphotos.net

Barry Bonds admitted using steroids in 1999 and then began inquiring about the side effects of the injectable steroid Winstrol, his former business manager testified Wednesday.

Steve Hoskins, Bonds’ boyhood friend and his business manager until his firing in 2003, said the Giants star told him to consult with his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Arthur Ting, about the drug.

Bonds told him, “Find out what this steroid does and what’s the side effects of it and is it good or bad,” Hoskins said.

“He instructed me to go to Dr. Ting and find out what it was,” he said.

Hoskins said he went to Ting's office where the doctor gave him printouts of medical books describing steroid side effects. Hoskins said he delivered them to Bonds in the Giants' clubhouse.

Hoskins, son of the late San Francisco 49ers football star Bob Hoskins, said he began working for Bonds about 1993, after the slugging outfielder left the Pittsburgh Pirates to play for the Giants. He handled sales of Bonds’ sports memorabilia and sports lithographs. Hoskins, a graphic artist, said he created the lithographs and Bonds signed them, and they split the money.

Bonds kept as much as $100,000 cash in a safe in Hoskins’ business office in San Carlos, Hoskins said. Occasionally Bonds would instruct him to make cash payouts to two women – Kim Bell, Bonds’ longtime girlfriend, and another girlfriend, Piret Aava, an Estonian model then living in New York, Hoskins said.

Bonds also told him to make cash payments to his weight trainer, Greg Anderson, who by the government’s account was Bonds’ steroid source.

During his testimony Bonds watched Hoskins impassively, sometimes jotting notes on a pad.

Hoskins said Bonds occasionally discussed steroid use with him over the years. In 2002, by the batting cage at Pac Bell Park, Hoskins said Bonds began complaining that Anderson had refused to give him a steroid injection.

“The conversation started because Greg would not give Barry a shot,” he said. “Barry just said, if Greg wouldn’t give him the shot he’d give it to himself. He was just upset that Greg wouldn’t do what he wanted him to do.”

Earlier, during cross-examination that began Tuesday and continued Wednesday, defense lawyer Allen Ruby pushed former IRS Agent Jeff Novitzky on whether he helped Bonds’ former business manager get a fraud charge dismissed in exchange for his testimony against the former Giants star.

The agent insisted that no federal law enforcement officer in Northern California had anything to do with the fraud case.

Bonds fired Hoskins in 2003 and complained to the FBI that the business manager was forging the slugger’s signature on memorabilia and selling it, Ruby reminded Novitzky.

Then Hoskins told the government that Bonds was using steroids; he also secretly taped Anderson in the Giants’ clubhouse describing the banned drugs he said he was giving to Bonds.

Ruby pushed Novitzky on whether the government purposely ignored Bonds’ complaint to induce Hoskins to testify against the Giants star.

Novitzky said local prosecutors had “recused” themselves from Bonds' complaint against Hoskins, referring it to federal prosecutors in Seattle. They eventually dismissed Bonds’ allegations as unfounded.

“We had no stake in this separate investigation of Mr. Hoskins,” Novitzky said.

 

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