Since 2003, Marin writer Jonathan Littman
has intimately covered the government's investigation and prosecution of Barry Bonds and other athletes ensnared in the BALCO scandal. He's shown up at nearly every court hearing and sifted through thousands of pages of court documents. And he's confident in stating that he believes this phase of his life -- and many other folks' lives, too -- is done. While many in the media
are reporting potential delays of months or even years in the Bonds trial, Littman is certain this sucker is done.
"Oh, I think the government blinked and it's all over," said Littman, who has written scores of articles on BALCO for Yahoo! Sports and Playboy
. "This case is unlikely to be even heard by the appellate court until late July, which means the earliest it could possibly have a new trial woudl be by September or October. And by that time there's going to be a new U.S. Attorney in San Francisco. So now [the current prosecutors] seem to be punting."
Littman scoffed at the theory the government will be able to amass startling new evidence over the course of the next few months -- "Six or nine months from now, they're facing the same problem. They won't have the witness [former Bonds trainer] Greg Anderson. I've seen all the Grand Jury testimony from other Giants ballplayers. It certainly looks to me like excellent testimony for the defense."
To wit, Littman notes that Bonds' teammates also claimed
they had taken doses of tetrahydrogestrinone -- "The Clear" -- from Anderson without really knowing what it was. None of them, incidentally, is being tried for perjury -- and, what's more, at the time of their 2003 testimony, The Clear was not an illegal drug or considered a steroid.
"You know, for five years, the prosecutors and investigators in the BALCO case tried Barry Bonds in the media. Last week we learned that may be the only court they will ever try that case in," Littman says. "I think the government just wants this to quietly die." Photo | Permanently Scatterbrained