BALCO founder Victor Conte bragged to an associate that Barry Bonds
had intimate knowledge of the designer steroids he received from the Bay Area company, and that the Giants' slugger took an active interest in what the substances contained, ESPN The Magazine has learned.
The disclosure comes to light amid reports that Patrick Arnold, the Illinois chemist who is scheduled to report to federal prison next week for his part in the steroid conspiracy, has made the same admission to a media outlet. The admission appears to contradict Bonds' sworn testimony before a grand jury in 2004. In a report on the testimony, the San Francisco Chronicle described Bonds as testifying that he did not think the clear liquid he received from his trainer, Greg Anderson, was a designer steroid. He reportedly said that he thought Anderson "wouldn't jeopardize our friendship" by giving him banned drugs. In that Chronicle report, Bonds reportedly said that he thought that the clear liquid was merely flaxseed oil to help his ailing knee heal. A source tells ESPN that while Conte has always said publicly that he was not involved with Bonds, he has admitted in private that Bonds came to BALCO to "get jacked." The source said that Conte is now surprised that Arnold, who created the infamous steroid THG, is speaking out against him. Shaun Assael is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.