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Steroids Confidential 

Greg Anderson has given up his freedom rather than testify about Barry Bonds. But one man has learned the deepest secrets of the trainer behind baseball's new home run king.

Wednesday, Sep 26 2007
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As Leftwich remembers it, Anderson said, "I tried to warn Barry not to shoot HGH into his junk, same way I warned him not to shoot 'the Clear' into his pecs."

Anderson obtained the Clear and the Cream, two undetectable steroids that left users feeling superhuman, through BALCO's Conte, whose office sat around the corner from the trainer's gym. According to Leftwich, Anderson recalled that Bonds, bitter about his fielding miscue in the World Series, vowed to enter the 2003 season bigger and better than ever. His efforts went horribly awry.

Every day for a week before spring training, as Anderson watched in hushed dismay, Bonds jammed two syringes loaded with the Clear into his pectorals. Soon after, he started producing breast milk.

Rumors that the All-Star leftfielder was lactating spiked after an exhibition game that March. In Leftwich's telling, Anderson described how a Giants locker room attendant on laundry detail noticed two coaster-sized white stains inside Bonds' No. 25 jersey. "Is Barry preggers?" the young man quipped, holding up the jersey as players cackled. He would not crack wise again while on the club's payroll. Bonds, stepping from the showers with a towel covering his painfully tender nipples, overheard the joke. He demanded that Giants owner Peter Magowan, fresh off a colonic irrigation and visiting the locker room, fire the attendant on the spot. Magowan obliged, then fired three more just to make Bonds laugh.

Days later, with the team ascribing Bonds' absence from the clubhouse to general fatigue, doctors removed his distended mammary glands in a seven-hour operation. (Displaying sound judgment, Anderson didn't joke to his client about selling the glands on eBay.) Lingering soreness from the surgery hampered Bonds early in the season, with his batting average hovering at an anemic .270 through May. Leftwich says Anderson explained the problem this way: "Dude, it's not easy to turn on a fastball when it feels like wild dogs are eating your flesh knobs."

SF Weekly, bypassing Bonds' anticipated denials, instead went straight to fans who still believe the Bay Area icon can do no wrong. Giants season-ticket holder Trent Bolone, when told of the latest revelations, reacted with a shrug. "Here's a guy busting his tail even when he's got a bloated penis and aching breasts," Bolone said. "You can call him a drug cheat. I call him a legend."

Marlon Leftwich came to regard Greg Anderson as something of a kindred spirit during their short stint as cellies. Both had landed in prison. Each man had an unhealthy obsession — junk food for Leftwich, anabolic steroids for Anderson. And like the artificially inflated fitness trainer whose playing days ended at a no-name college in Kansas, Leftwich had seen his baseball dream fall well short of the pros.

Leftwich's Little League team played its games at Balboa Park. Jon Swift, his coach and a Marine veteran known for his bluntness, has vivid memories of the young Marlon. "He was a strange kid," Swift says. "He absolutely would not take the field unless he could keep a bag of chips in his mitt. So we stuck him out in right field and prayed nobody would hit it to him." The strategy worked until the fateful, inevitable day that a pop-up floated toward the boy, triggering a Bad News Bears sequence.

"He wasn't paying attention," the coach says. "He was looking down at his glove, trying to get the last fucking Frito out of the bag." In the next instant, the ball beaned his head with a dull thump, briefly knocking him out as the batter circled the bases. Leftwich recovered from the physical trauma, but never again stepped onto the diamond.

As he listened to Anderson hold forth on Barry Bonds and BALCO over the course of a week, Leftwich gradually realized that the weight guru was coping with his own baseball-related withdrawal: He could no longer jam a needle into the posterior of the player that some consider the best ever.

"He didn't act sorry for himself and he didn't brag," Leftwich says. "But there were times he'd talk in his sleep, and one night I heard him saying, 'Don't you get it? I've touched the ass of greatness!' That's how I knew he was hurting."

Hours after raiding BALCO's offices in September 2003, federal agents searched Anderson's Burlingame condo. Led by Jeff Novitzky, the IRS agent who headed the probe, they found detailed doping calendars that the trainer kept for Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, and lesser-known players to whom he supplied steroids, Game of Shadows revealed. Court records show the feds also discovered $60,000 in cash and a hoard of growth hormone, testosterone, and other performance-enhancing drugs. (In the sort of ironic twist one might expect in a work of fiction, Anderson stashed some of the vials in his refrigerator alongside dozens of hormone-free eggs — 61 of them, to be exact.)

In late 2005, Anderson pleaded guilty to distributing steroids and money laundering, receiving a three-month prison term. Yet that represents less than one-fifth of the time he has spent locked up because of the BALCO case. For refusing to answer questions before a pair of grand juries, he has logged another 13 months behind bars. In August 2006, in finding Anderson in contempt of court, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said to the trainer's attorneys, "Sometimes sitting in the cooler for a long time may have a therapeutic effect and may change his mind."

In truth, apart from providing Anderson a chance to think up puerile nicknames for his antagonists — Jeff Noshitsky, Judge Alshole — jail has fortified his stubbornness. Leftwich recalls how the synthetically augmented trainer laughed when asked if he would ever consider testifying. "He pretended to pick up a phone and said, 'Hello, Judge Alshole? I got your therapeutic effect — it's in my pants!'"

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Nic Foit

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