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more 'Roids (Giambi testimony)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
NY Times

December 2, 2004

Giambi Reportedly Testified He Used Steroids


Filed at 12:05 p.m. ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi injected himself with human growth hormone in 2003 and used steroids for at least three seasons, according to his grand jury testimony that was reviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The testimony given in December 2003 to the federal grand jury investigating BALCO contradicts Giambi's public proclamations that he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

Baseball probably cannot punish Giambi. Penalties for steroid use began in 2004. Human growth hormone, or hGH, is not specifically banned by the major leagues.

Giambi described to grand jurors how he injected hGH in his stomach, testosterone into his buttocks, rubbed an undetectable steroid knows as ``the cream'' on his body and placed drops of another, called ``the clear,'' under his tongue, the Chronicle reported Thursday.

Giambi testified that he obtained several different steroids from Barry Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, one of four men indicted by the grand jury probing the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. He said he got the hGH from a gym in Las Vegas.

Anderson's attorney, Tony Serra, declined comment to the Chronicle, citing a court order.

Anderson, BALCO founder Victor Conte, BALCO vice president James Valente and track coach Remi Korchemny all have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include steroid distribution.

The Chronicle report came out the day before Conte is scheduled to speak on the ABC program ``20-20.''

On Wednesday, a federal judge refused to immediately dismiss the charges in response to accusations that prosecutors illegally searched BALCO headquarters and Anderson's house and car. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said she may conduct hearings into the matter in January.

Giambi was among dozens of elite athletes -- including Bonds, Gary Sheffield and track stars Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones -- who testified before the grand jury last year under a promise of limited immunity from prosecution.

Bonds, Jones and Montgomery deny using performance-enhancing drugs. Sheffield told Sports Illustrated and ESPN he used ``the cream'' and ``the clear'' from BALCO, but that he did not know they contained steroids.

Giambi told grand jurors that he didn't notice a ``huge difference'' in his performance after starting to use the drugs, the newspaper reported.

Giambi came to spring training this year looking noticeably trimmer as baseball began a steroid-testing program that included punishments for the first time. Asked in February whether he had ever taken performance-enhancing drugs, Giambi said: ``Are you talking about steroids? No.''

Giambi won the AL MVP in 2000 for Oakland and signed a $120 million, seven-year free-agent contract with the Yankees after the 2001 season. He hit 155 homers from 1999-2002 and batted over .300 each season, but injuries slowed him down the last two years.

Bothered by a balky knee, Giambi hit just .250 in 2003. Giambi batted .208 and played in only 80 games last season, missing time because of a tumor, which the New York Daily News reported was in his pituitary gland. Medical experts told the Chronicle that Clomid, a female fertility drug Giambi said he thought Anderson had given him, can exacerbate a tumor of the pituitary gland.

Giambi's younger brother, Jeremy, who last played in the majors with Boston in 2003, also testified that he used performance-enhancing drugs given to him by Anderson, according to the Chronicle.
post #2 of 21
I know a few MLB coaches and the buzz around the league was that his health issues were the result of "coming off the juice". I guess they were right.
post #3 of 21
C'mon who on this board HASN'T done steroids?
post #4 of 21
Oooh, oooh, and bears sh*t in the woods. It's a shame that for what he did to his body he absolutely sucked it up this year.
post #5 of 21


I'm fascinated by the 'got it at a gym' aspect of all this.

Who's doing the creative labwork on these guys to keep them ahead of the testing game?
Does Dr. X not avoid stacking of multiple agents?
Does Dr. X not avoid 'mystery source' chemicals with no provenance or quality assurance?
post #6 of 21
Oh ya, and Barry Bonds didn't know that the sports cocktails that he took a couple times a day didn't contain steroids.

Sammy Sosa will come out of the closet next.

Mark Maguire already did.

Gary Sheffield has been accused.

Killed Caminiti.

Baseball heros of the past five years, the "sluggers" were all jacked up. Baseball knew it and did nothing about it cause they were riding the money wheel of the big home run races.

Well, now they are paying for it. False records were made breaking those of past legends who did it the only way they knew how. Hard work and a hell of a lot less money.
post #7 of 21
Tom Boswell, sports columnist for Washington Post, absolutely crucified Bonds in yesterday's (12/4/04) sports page. Boswell is usually very pro baseball.
This plague of steroids is enough to undermine the credibility of every major sport/athlete. Thank God for sports like recreational skiing, where it's strictly about the joy of just doing it.
post #8 of 21
"Baseball probably cannot punish Giambi. Penalties for steroid use began in 2004. Human growth hormone, or hGH, is not specifically banned by the major leagues."

And, its sealed grand jury testimony, so legally, it isn't available public record.
post #9 of 21
Unfortunately Giambi's getting all of the punishment he deserves right now. Illness, embarassment, maybe the loss of a big contract and he still has to go out there and now play un-juiced. Let's see how tough he is now.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

not really related but...

i saw this homer.


it still is THE bomb that comes to mind when i think of real-game HR's (as opposed to, say, all-star game BP). (and a pop-fly HR to dead-center that **** (sorry, "richie" then) allen hit at dodger stadium when i was a kid; thing didn't go much farther than 420 but it had a hang-time of, like, 13 seconds.

(doesn't really matter if the balls go as far as claimed; anything hit in the 420'-plus range is pretty much the equivalent of a 360-yard drive off the tee and is pretty impressive to watch. actuallly, as impressive to hear.

i remember, by the way, throwing some BP in college one day and someone hitting a ball back at me on the mound that was stopped by the protective screen. i never even saw the thing coming back at me. all i heard was the clang and rattle of the ball impacting the screen. that ball would have gone through me. if you wanted to see infielder carnage all you'd have to do is put aluminum bats in the hands of some of these guys on the "hitter helper."

personally, i think it was the hamburgers and, of course, the spinach.

end reverie.
post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by ryan
i saw this homer.


it still is THE bomb that comes to mind when i think of real-game HR's (as opposed to, say, all-star game BP). (and a pop-fly HR to dead-center that **** allen hit at dodger stadium when i was a kid; thing didn't go much farther than 420 but it had a hang-time of, like, 13 seconds.

personally, i think it was the hamburgers and, of course, the spinach.
Longer than Reggie Jacksons stadium light shot?
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
I used to watch the all-star game pre-game shows back when, coach, 'cause they usually showed that ball he hit off doc ellis (i think) at detroit in a late-60's all-star game. the last HR he hit in that three-HR game against the dodgers in the world series (this last one off charlie hough, so jackson had to supply most of the power against a floating knuckler) was impressive too, a bolt to dead-center.

by the way, fenway takes HR 's away, too. a lot of line drives against that wall would be way up in the lower deck seats in plenty of stadiums.

hey, speaking of baseball, anyone know who won the most recent world series?
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
there's a picture on the sports front page of the LA Times (yesterday, i think) of barry bonds during a spring training workout. he's out of uniform, in shorts and a form-fitting, short-sleeve workout shirt.

i don't know if he's juicing but he looks HUGE in this picture, larger than in uniform and much larger then he was a skinny rookie (with a lot of power even then) in pittsburgh.
post #14 of 21
Com'on Ryan. Most of the attendees at my 20th high school reunion put on as much mass as Barry did. Okay, maybe not in their arms but definitely everywhere else.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
actually, it's only my opinion but it would not be unheard of for someone who set out to do it to gain the mass bonds has gained since he broke in. takes a lot of dedicated work and appropriate dieting but guys have beefed up before. brian downing and robin yount were a couple of players early into the lifting-for-baseball movement, and they both had their best years offensively after they pumped up. (you may recall an SI spread from a couple years ago showing nomar w/o a shirt following an off-season of lifting; he "bigged up," too, but has caught some grief since then as his numbers have not progressed as they did at the start of his career. of course he had a pretty serious wrist injury.)

there was a time in baseball when lifting was very frowned upon. there was the thought that players would become muscle-bound and (ironically, given today's accusations) lose their bat speed. when other players saw downing, yount and a couple other players really up their numbers after some serious gym time, players wanted to get stronger. (better numbers equal better $$$$.) now, of course, players have found a shortcut and in an environment where tens of millions are there for the making, it's not so hard to imagine why players would "cheat."

as i've said before, check out any of the clips on espn classic-type programming. the players of as recently as six, seven years ago are pretty small compared to today's "average" player. look at games from the 80's and the big guys then are smaller than today's big guys.
some of that is better training know-how; some of it might be "cream for arthritis."

REMEMBER, it's okay to cheat if everyone else is, RIGHT?
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
post #17 of 21
Jose Canseco, ---that guy was not to limber to watch, and he was huge by most standards. Although he did put on a decent pitching performance late in his career:.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

Barry, 20 years ago

and he could hit the ball 400' then, b'lieve it or not.

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 




"Everyone talks about being on the juice or whatever," Oakland A's third baseman Eric Chavez said. "But you still have to be able to hit. If you can't hit, nothing is going to help. You can have muscles the size of my head."
For a time, the "relying on the skill" argument sufficed to quell skepticism in the game. Outside of baseball, medical experts were determined to prove baseball wasn't only about skill, and that new supplements being introduced to the market not only made users stronger, but enhanced the skills specific to playing baseball."
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

let the games begin.

NY Times

February 2, 2005

Designer Steroid That Avoids Detection Is Found


cientists with the World Anti-Doping Agency announced yesterday that they had discovered a new designer steroid, one more complex and more dangerous to produce than THG, the previously undetectable substance that has vaulted sports drug testing into a new era since 2003.

Anti-doping officials said the new drug, desoxymethyltestosterone, which they dubbed DMT, was uncovered after an anonymous e-mail tip directed the agency to investigate a substance seized by Canadian customs officials in June 2004. They also said they did not have any evidence the drug had been used.

"We believe it has been developed for the sole purpose of doping in sport," Olivier Rabin, the anti-doping agency's science director, said via teleconference yesterday. "We now know THG was not a unique case of designer steroids."

THG, or tetrahydrogestrinone, thrust the world of designer steroids into headlines when it was discovered in 2003, leading to a raid of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. That investigation led to the indictment of the Balco founder, Victor Conte Jr., after grand jury testimony by numerous elite athletes, including Barry Bonds and Marion Jones, who have been implicated in the scandal.

Since discovering DMT, scientists with the anti-doping agency, Canadian customs and Laval University in Quebec have been working since July to decipher the structure of the compound, a clear, oily substance that they said was a modification of a common steroid, methyltestosterone. Tests are continuing to determine how the substance is metabolized, which will lead to a way to test for it in urine.

But even before a specific test is developed, agency scientists said they had enough information to detect it, and many athletes' samples that the agency has saved over the past six months have been analyzed for it. They have found no examples of its possible use.

"Potentially, we are ahead of the dopers," Rabin said. "This shows the dopers how serious we are. We also want to show the clean athletes that we are doing everything in our power to prevent this drug from entering the paraphernalia of doping practices."

Rabin said nothing was known about the identity of the whistle-blower, who communicated with the anti-doping agency only through anonymous e-mail messages. That person, however, had detailed knowledge of the seizure by Canadian customs of the substances, which were coming from the United States.

Agency officials said that customs officials were not releasing any details about that seizure and that an investigation was continuing.

A similar anonymous tip uncovered the existence of THG in the summer of 2003, when a syringe was sent to the Olympic drug laboratory at U.C.L.A. Later, a track coach, Trevor Graham, admitted to sending the syringe.

That prompted the Balco investigation, which resulted in the indictment of four men, including Conte. Recently, Conte has said the discovery of THG is only the first step in uncovering a designer-steroid industry and that there are more in circulation already.

THG was chemically altered to be undetectable in the drug tests being used at the time. Since then, a test has been developed. DMT was apparently designed to elude detection.

What was most alarming about DMT, according to Christiane Ayotte, director of Montreal's Olympic lab, is its complexity. Unlike THG, which required a one-step chemical reaction to produce it from its parent compound, DMT is created by several reactions.

"What this tells us is we have chemists with a very serious organic chemistry background that are helping the people who are distributing this substance to athletes," Ayotte said. "This is very dangerous because there is no purification."

Ayotte said one of the chemicals required to produce DMT was methyllithium, a substance that could explode if exposed to moisture in the air. Without purification, traces of that substance could remain in the drug.

Ayotte was among the scientists who analyzed the drug since its discovery last summer. She said the anti-doping agency was cooperating with Canadian customs agents in the investigation of the source of the drug.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 

NY Times

February 11, 2005

A Careful Apology From Giambi


here was a moment yesterday when Jason Giambi looked as if he might cry. He had not yet taken a question from a room full of reporters at Yankee Stadium, and he seemed to be sincerely sorry for the steroid controversy that engulfs him.

"I feel I let down the fans, I feel I let down the media, I feel I let down the Yankees, and not only the Yankees, but my teammates," Giambi said, and he turned to look into the eyes of Manager Joe Torre, who was sitting on a folding chair next to him.

Giambi could have been a child finally summoning the courage to tell the truth to his father. But he kept his composure, and continued. "I accept full responsibility for that, and I'm sorry," he said.

What he did not fully say, however, was what he was sorry for.

This was Giambi's first public statement since The San Francisco Chronicle, in December, published an article quoting what it said was Giambi's testimony to the federal grand jury in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case. In the reported testimony, Giambi admitted to using illegal steroids before and after he joined the Yankees for the 2002 season.

In his first response to a question yesterday, Giambi said that he had not read the Chronicle article. He added that he had told the grand jury the truth, and he did not deny any aspects of what The Chronicle reported, which seemed to be as close as he was willing to come to confirming the article. Still, he did not directly admit to steroid use.

"I know the fans might want more," Giambi said. "But because of all the legal matters, I can't get into specifics. Someday, hopefully, I will be able to."

That day was not yesterday. Giambi's agent, Arn Tellem, said that the United States attorney in the Balco case had instructed Giambi not to comment on the Balco investigation, although Giambi is legally entitled to talk about his own testimony. In addition, Tellem said he and Giambi's lawyers had told him to be careful in discussing legal issues.

By following that advice, Giambi gave the Yankees nothing more to use against him if they do try to escape the remaining four years and $82 million on his contract, a long-shot option the team is apparently not pursuing now.

But Giambi's answers came so close to acknowledging the accuracy of the Chronicle story that at one point, Tellem said, "The answers are there if you look for them."

Although he did not challenge the Chronicle story, Giambi did denounce assertions that Jose Canseco is said to be making in a book to be published next week, including a charge that Giambi, Canseco and Mark McGwire injected one another with steroids as teammates on the Oakland Athletics.

"I find that delusional," Giambi said. "I don't even know where he could come up with something like that. I think it's kind of sad that Josey is that desperate to make a dime."

Giambi met with print reporters, mostly from local newspapers, for more than 30 minutes yesterday, and then met with local radio and television reporters. There were no restrictions on what could be asked, but Tellem interjected before Giambi could answer certain questions.

According to The Chronicle, Giambi said he stopped taking steroids at the All-Star Game break in 2003, almost exactly when his injuries began to flare and his production began to decline. When Giambi was asked if he could be the same player he used to be without the help of steroids, Tellem objected to the question until it was rephrased without the word steroids.

"Yeah, I think so," Giambi finally answered. "That's why I've been working my butt off, hitting and throwing and running. Normally when I come into spring training, I wouldn't do a lot of hitting or throwing. I would run and be in good shape, but this year I'm ready to rock and roll."

Giambi, who turned 34 in January, looked sturdier than he did last season, when his lack of strength and stamina caused Torre to leave him off the postseason roster. Giambi spent much of the season on the disabled list with ailments that included an intestinal parasite and a benign tumor, later revealed to be on his pituitary gland.

This winter, Giambi said, he has been working out twice a day, doing baseball exercises in the mornings and lifting weights at night. He will report to spring training in Tampa, Fla., with the Yankees' position players on Feb. 20, and his personal trainer, Bob Alejo, will have the same access to team flights - but not to team facilities - that he had last season.

"The effort will obviously be there," Torre said of Giambi. "But I think we're all curious to see how he's going to recover from what he went through. He certainly looks healthier than he did last year."

Giambi went to camp last season looking markedly thinner, though he maintained he had lost only four pounds - by giving up cheeseburgers. He weighed 228 pounds last spring and said yesterday that he now weighs between 235 and 238 pounds.

Torre said he did not know where Giambi fit into the Yankees' 2005 lineup, and after the signing of first baseman Tino Martinez, it seems likely that Giambi will be used primarily as a designated hitter. Torre said Giambi would have a place in the lineup, and that he would play first at times, but he also called Giambi the Yankees' No. 1 question.

"The biggest thing that I'll be watching is not what takes place on the field," General Manager Brian Cashman said. "It's how he handles the process. It's going to be a journey, and it's going to be a long journey. Today will not end it. He knows that and we know that."

Giambi said he was grateful for the support of Torre, Cashman and the teammates who have called him this winter, including Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. Giambi also said that he made a promise to the principal owner George Steinbrenner in a phone conversation two weeks ago.

"The biggest thing I told him is I'm not a quitter," Giambi said. "I told him I was ready to play and I was going to be that player he signed."

Through his publicist, Howard Rubenstein, Steinbrenner issued a brief statement that lauded Giambi for facing the news media. "It takes a hell of a big man to stand up and apologize to his teammates, to New York Yankee fans and to baseball fans everywhere and admit he was wrong," the statement said.

Giambi is sensitive, and that could make this season harder for him than it would be for a player who cares less about his image. Giambi vowed to sign more autographs and "work twice as hard" to win back fans, and he said the fans he had met this winter were supportive.

But when the games begin, Giambi will probably be jeered, certainly at visiting parks and maybe in the Bronx. To withstand the scrutiny, he may need to steel himself.

"He's going to have to understand that even in his home ballpark, on a regular basis, he may not get the response he wants to get," Torre said. "I think he has to be tougher. In being human, there's only so much you can do to say, 'I understand,' and go on about your business. It's something he's going to have to condition himself to do. But when he looks around, he's going to see a lot of support."

Torre said he might ask Giambi if he wants to address the team during spring training, but said he did not think that it was necessary.

"The biggest thing is I understand how everybody feels - Little Leaguers to fans to everybody," Giambi said. "I hope the message that the parents or even the kids understand is that, hey, this is a guy who's facing his problems, he's not running from them, and he's trying to overcome. And he's not quitting. I think that's what makes you a man."


February 11, 2005

Contract Omission Says It All


ASON GIAMBI did not fall on his sword yesterday. He did not say in crisp, clear tones, "Yes, I used steroids." But he didn't have to. He said enough to acknowledge that, yes, he used steroids.

That came as no surprise to the Yankees. Not that they will acknowledge it. General Manager Brian Cashman, in fact, said several times yesterday that the subject never came up three years ago when the Yankees were pursuing Giambi, a free-agent first baseman. But they had a strong clue that steroids played a part in Giambi's life.

A person with knowledge of the contract said that before they signed off on Giambi's seven-year, $120 million deal, the Yankees acquiesced to his request and removed all references to steroids from the guarantee language routinely included in contracts.

The Yankees were not innocents in this matter. They didn't say to themselves: Delete references to steroid use? Well, all right if you insist, but why would you want us to do that?

They wanted Giambi badly enough that they relinquished the right to suspend him or stop payment on the contract or terminate the contract or convert it into a nonguaranteed contract if he was found to use steroids. No other words were deleted from that paragraph of the contract, the person said.

That act alone made it difficult for the Yankees to try to void the contract after The San Francisco Chronicle reported Giambi's leaked testimony before a federal grand jury on Dec. 11, 2003. A hearing into a Giambi grievance over the termination would have produced some tantalizing testimony.

Union lawyer: Mr. Steinbrenner, before you approved a $120 million commitment to Mr. Giambi, did you have any idea or any suspicion that he used steroids?

George Steinbrenner: Umm. ...

Giambi was asked at a news conference yesterday at Yankee Stadium if he misrepresented himself when he signed the contract. Arn Tellem, his agent, answered for him.

"Absolutely, unequivocally no," Tellem said. He didn't spell it out, but he didn't have to. The Yankees' action three years ago spoke eloquently enough. Their willingness to delete steroids demonstrated that they clearly understood Giambi's representation.

The Yankees signed Giambi on Dec. 13, 2001. The Chronicle reported that he had told the grand jury that he used steroids during the 2001 season. He made sure his continued use of performance-enhancing drugs would not jeopardize his contract.

Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's chief labor executive, declined to comment yesterday on the guarantee language in Giambi's contract.

"Whatever I know about that is privileged," Manfred said, referring to attorney-client privilege.

Lonn Trost, the Yankees' chief operating officer, who handles the guarantee language in player contracts, declined to discuss Giambi's contract. But speaking generally, he said: "We have probably the most extensive guarantee language in professional sports; it contains many, many things. There's nothing in that agreement that isn't redundant. It's dealt with to make sure we're protected. Even if it was modified, you can be sure it was covered elsewhere."

But if steroid use is covered elsewhere in the contract, the Yankees would have jumped at the chance to use the prohibition to terminate Giambi's contract and save themselves the $82 million they owe him over the next four years. They have had meetings with the commissioner's office, but no one has come up with a way out.

Giambi and Tellem were careful yesterday not to give the Yankees help, just in case they're still looking. Giambi did not admit to having used steroids, and he did not confirm The Chronicle report of his grand jury testimony.

But he did say he had testified truthfully. And although he criticized Jose Canseco for the assertions he reportedly made in his forthcoming book, Giambi did not question The Chronicle report. He said he hadn't read the article, but he knows what it contained. Otherwise, what did he apologize for?

For those who wanted Giambi to fall on his sword and were disappointed that he didn't, Tellem, a Los Angeles lawyer, spelled it out. "He's doing the best he can and going as far as he can," he said. "He said he told the truth to the grand jury, nothing but the truth. He said he did things that he regretted and he's sorry for."

Look at what Giambi said, Tellem concluded, and you'll find out that he said what some people wanted him to say. "He basically did say that," Tellem said.

But Giambi didn't say anything that would hurt his legal position. A lawyer who works in baseball said the Yankees would have a difficult case if they tried to terminate the contract.

For one thing, the lawyer said, steroids weren't illegal in baseball when Giambi used them. For another, the only evidence the Yankees have is a newspaper article, which would never make it into evidence before an arbitrator.

The Yankees may revisit the matter later, especially if Giambi is hitting .210 with a handful of home runs in May.

For now, though, the Yankees appear satisfied with Giambi's position. They feel he has been sincere and contrite in his discussions with them, and they only hope he can become the productive player he used to be, steroids or no.

"Jason is a member of this family," Cashman said, "and we will do everything we possibly can together to help him try to get through it."
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