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more fuel for the BALCO fire

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more fuel for the BALCO fire

Postby j_d_mcnugent » Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:06 pm

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/m ... index.html

By Tom Verducci


"I don't want friends like that," Sheffield says of Bonds, who introduced him to BALCO before the 2002 season.
Eric Risberg/AP



Gary Sheffield was testifying before a federal grand jury in San Francisco in 2003 when a prosecutor held up the testoterone-based steroid known as "the cream," supplied by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

"Do you know what this is?" Sheffield was asked.

"Yeah, I do," Sheffield said.

"What did they tell you it was for?"

"My wounds," said Sheffield, who then rolled up his right pants leg to show a surgical scar on the outside of his knee. "It was like a cortisone to heal these wounds. I rubbed it on every night and it helped me."

Sheffield says he was not told that the cream, which he used before and during the 2002 season when he played for the Atlanta Braves, was an illegal steroid. "It was like you could go to a store and find something like that. That's what was in my thoughts," he says. "I put it on my legs and thought nothing of it. I kept it in my locker. The trainer saw my cream."

Sheffield says it shocked him when news broke that "the cream" and "the clear," another balm supplied by BALCO, were designer steroids. "That's why I was mad," he says. "I want everybody to be on an even playing field."

Sheffield was introduced to BALCO by someone he now describes as a former friend: Barry Bonds. Sheffield says he has no knowledge of what, if any, enhancers Bonds may have used, but he did provide SI with a harsh firsthand look at the inner circle of Bonds's trainers. (Bonds, through a spokesperson, declined to address Sheffield's comments, saying only, "I wish nothing but the best for Gary. I want him to win the MVP. He deserves it.")

Sheffield says he and Bonds enjoyed a casual friendship when the Giants leftfielder invited Sheffield to live and train with him in San Francisco for a few weeks before the 2002 season. "He said, 'I got guys here, they can get your urine and blood and prescribe a vitamin specifically for your blood type and what your body needs,' " Sheffield says. "And that's what I did."

Bonds introduced Sheffield to BALCO president Victor Conte as well as to members of Bonds' support team, which included chiropractors, a track coach, a stretching coach and a strength coach, Greg Anderson. He and Conte were two of four men indicted Feb. 12 on charges of conspiring to distribute performance-enhancing drugs. Sheffield says he did not deal directly with anyone from BALCO after his initial meeting with Conte, but that the company gave vitamins to Anderson, and Anderson gave them to Sheffield. (Through his lawyer, Anderson declined to comment on providing Sheffield with any BALCO products.)

"The only thing Greg Anderson does is what Barry tells him to do," Sheffield says. "Barry ran everything. If I'm training and if he sees Greg making me do one curl too many, it's an argument: 'I told you, don't have him do no more than he needs!' So I knew Greg was a puppet. All these guys around [Bonds] were puppets.

"They used to confide in me about how they hated it. I told them, 'You knew what you were getting into. You accept his money. You accept the status when you're around him. But you don't want to deal with the backlash of what comes out of his mouth, and you want to complain to me.'"

Soon after Sheffield arrived in San Francisco, the friendship between him and Bonds began to sour. Bonds insisted that Sheffield stay at his house and not rent a car. He insisted that Sheffield not pay for anything, though Sheffield did bring his personal chef. "[It was], 'It's my way or no way,' " Sheffield says. "I'm not a child. I make $11 million. I can buy what I want."

To thank Bonds for inviting him into his home, Sheffield arranged for the two of them to see a boxing match in Miami on Feb. 2, 2002. "I was going to pay for the plane, the flight, pay for the limo service, the hotel," Sheffield says. "He gets my mail. He looks in my mail and sees he can get better seats, so he gets better seats. He can get a better flight, so he gets a better flight. He can get a better limo service. And he can get a better hotel. So basically my plan, in trying to do something in return, he wound up doing it. And [that sort of behavior] just escalated."

Another time, Sheffield arranged for a limo and tickets for him and Bonds to see the Sacramento Kings host the Los Angeles Lakers. "He complained the whole drive," Sheffield says. "'Man, I could have drove. We would have gotten there a lot faster.' The whole time. And I'm saying to myself, Never again. Never again."

Sheffield says the breaking point occurred one morning when Bonds departed for their morning workout without him, leaving Sheffield to scramble for transportation to the gym. When Sheffield eventually showed up, he found Bonds laughing at him with someone he later learned was a writer for Men's Journal. "He sold me out to the media," Sheffield says.

Though Sheffield says he was under doctor's orders not to run because of his knee, he did so anyway because Bonds and his trainers wanted him to. "Now all of a sudden my knee was hurting," Sheffield says. "He said something to me [about being late]. I did not respond, because if I did respond at that particular moment, I would have knocked him out. That's how I was feeling. [But] I said [to myself], No, I'm just going to walk away, and when I say walk away I mean walk away."

Sheffield flew home to Florida with his chef. The chef told him, "Gary, I want to confess something. [Bonds] made an offer to hire me: He'll get me a car, give me a place to stay and pay off my student loan."

Shortly after they returned, Sheffield says he and his chef parted ways. Sheffield says about a month later Bonds called him to inquire about why the chef was no longer working for Sheffield but made no mention of a related development: Bonds had hired him.

"That's the kind of person I found out I was dealing with," Sheffield says. "To me, I don't want friends like that. I never will have friends like that."

Soon Sheffield received a call from one of Bonds' team. According to Sheffield, Bonds had initially insisted that Sheffield not pay for anything, but now he was told to settle his tab with BALCO and others. Bonds also told Sheffield that BALCO would no longer supply him with vitamins.

"I called BALCO. 'Do I owe you anything?' " Sheffield says. " 'Well, you have a bill ...' I told my wife, 'You write the check.' That's how I got linked to BALCO."

Sheffield hit .307 in 2002 after training with Bonds, but with 25 home runs and 84 RBIs, it was a down year for him. "I had my worst year ever," he says. "I gave him too much credit. When you listen to another person on an everyday basis drill into you numbers, numbers, numbers, and you've never been that way, it doesn't work. I don't play for numbers. When I played to try to get numbers, I didn't get them."

Adds Sheffield, "I never wished anything bad on [Bonds]. I want him to achieve what he wants to achieve, but what I want more is that his life gets right. That he can have compassion for other people. And that's what I want the most."
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Postby LBJackal » Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:28 pm

I'll start off by saying I don't neccesarily believe everything Sheff is saying... he wants to clear up his name and admitting to inadvertent use of "The Cream" before one of his worst seasons is a good way to do that. So is saying it was all Bonds, and not him, and Bonds is a bad guy and deserves the blame. I don't think I'm buying it.....

This part though really pisses me off about people, not that it happened this way, but I know people that are like this (my dad being one),

To thank Bonds for inviting him into his home, Sheffield arranged for the two of them to see a boxing match in Miami on Feb. 2, 2002. "I was going to pay for the plane, the flight, pay for the limo service, the hotel," Sheffield says. "He gets my mail. He looks in my mail and sees he can get better seats, so he gets better seats. He can get a better flight, so he gets a better flight. He can get a better limo service. And he can get a better hotel. So basically my plan, in trying to do something in return, he wound up doing it.


:-[ Why do people have to act like they're better than you? Sometimes the nice thing to do is accept a gift once in a while; let other people pay for the bill when they take you for dinner (even if you make more money). This kinda thing just makes me mad...

Anyways, back to Barry: I think this should be merged with the other Bonds threads, so it reaches the mandatory 10 pages right away instead of being dragged out......
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Postby Lofunzo » Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:12 pm

Interesting read in the least. :-?
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:27 pm

Lofunzo wrote:Interesting read in the least. :-?


sure is.

I know its just one mans story, but its the best glimpse into Bonds life and character that Ive seen.

That story about Sheff trying to do something nice for him and Bonds upgrading everything really spoke volumes about who BB is.
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Postby Lofunzo » Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:47 pm

Cornbread Maxwell wrote:
Lofunzo wrote:Interesting read in the least. :-?


sure is.

I know its just one mans story, but its the best glimpse into Bonds life and character that Ive seen.

That story about Sheff trying to do something nice for him and Bonds upgrading everything really spoke volumes about who BB is.


I know that there are 3 sides to every story but the specifics of this 1 really have me wondering. :-?
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Postby kentx12 » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:28 pm

At least Sheff was man enough to admit he took or used steroids even if he threw the blame and said he didnt realize he was doing it.
Bonds is still denying it isnt he?
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Postby Rirruto » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:35 pm

A lil off topic but what's this "cream" actually do for an athlete?
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Postby LBJackal » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:35 pm

kentx12 wrote:At least Sheff was man enough to admit he took or used steroids even if he threw the blame and said he didnt realize he was doing it.
Bonds is still denying it isnt he?


How do you know Bonds did steroids? WHy would he admit if he didn't even do it? LOL.

And about Sheff being man enough to admit he used "The Cream"... He could have said that so people wouldn't look deeper to see if he used other steroids. Like pleading guilty to manslaughter when you actually meant to kill a person. Not saying either are guilty of steroid use "in the first degree" :-b but if they are, what they are saying now, especially Sheffield, would be a good cover-up.
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Postby Madison » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:34 pm

Interesting read. ;-D

I'm sure more details will start to flow during the offseason and things could very well get messy. Should be interesting to follow though. B-)
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Postby wrveres » Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:03 pm

Well interesting read...
Just a couple of things that I took away from this article.

First off, BALCO was a legitimate company that actually made its money taking "your urine and blood and prescribe a vitamin specifically for your blood type and what your body needs". Yes they apparently also sold illegal steroids, but they actually made their money doing exactly what Barry said they would do for Gary. Urine and Blood Analysis!

Secondly, it has been widely discussed here many times that we all expect the 'guilty' players to take the "I didn't know" defense. So no big surprise there.

Third. Gary Sheffield just ADMITTED to taking an illegal steroid. Why in the world is he then allowed to play for a title? Personally I think he should be suspended in accordance with the league rules. This is an outrage!!!

Last. Barry Bonds is in charge.
I know everybody read that part. I mean come on, he yelled at his personal trainer, because Gary Sheffield did 'one to many' curls. What a jerk, right? Barry was in charge of 'everything'. He had to be. It was in his nature. Are we really surprised to see that Barry is a ‘Control Freak’? Of course, this also leads me to believe that Barry knew what each and every supplement was, that entered his body. To me, this is just one more reason to believe that Barry Bonds is actually clean. His trainers, according to Gary, despised him. You would think that one of them would turn on Barry in a heart beat to save his ass. I mean they are facing jail right? Nope my friends, this to me is just another piece of the puzzle. Barry has complete control of everything surrounding him. No one doubts that. And just by his own nature, he was sure to ruffle many feathers along the way. Ex employees, ex acquaintances. But not one, not one person has come forward to say they know for sure. Don't you find that odd?

One last puzzle piece to add here. Barry Bonds actually gained his upper body mass in the fall of 1998. I have shown that with proof and links, many, many times in these very forums. This was a whole two years before BALCO even entered the picture with Barry Bonds. Hell, Barry actually lost weight in the spring of 2001, and that just happened to be his first year associated with BALCO. He also hit 73 that year.

I guess what I am trying to say is, to me it’s looking more and more like Barry Bonds actually used BALCO for what their true business purpose was. Urine and Blood Analysis and then to prescribe a vitamin specifically for his blood type based upon what his body needed. It’s exactly the type of thing a control freak like Barry Bonds would do.
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