Look Ahead: Bonds Trial, Week 2

Justin Sullivan

Barry Bonds' trial is one week in and we've learned that many people in Bonds' life and the federal government all think that Bonds used steroids. Shocking, really.

But what precisely lies in wait for us for the second installment of "As the Federal Government Spends" ... well, glad you asked five questions relating to next week that I can almost, kind of definitely answer for you.

Who should I be looking for?
Kimberly Bell. She's Bonds' ex-girlfriend and, as a result of their relationship, has a pretty intimate knowledge of not just his behavior, but any sort of physical changes that took place in, on and around his body over the past two decades or so (they dated from 1994 to 2003, which is kind of the wheelhouse for any alleged steroid use).

What's she gonna say?
Well, given the frosty way in which their relationship ended and the fact that Bell's already spoken out against Bonds publicly, there's a good bet you'll hear talk of shriveling testes (sorry, but that's scientific), a whole lot of bacne (that's back acne, and it's a common side effect of steroids), and his aggressive behavior that increased as a result of his steroid use that she may or may not (most likely not) be able to actually document. She will also likely say that Bonds admitted to her that he used steroids.

Why's she talking about his, um, well you know?
Yeah, it's kind of awkward, right? But the reason everyone wants to know about his man-parts is that when people use steroids and/or performance-enhancing drugs, shrunken testicals is a side effect. This is precisely why Dr. Larry Bowers spent most of Thursday providing the jury with a pile of medical jargon relating to steroids. As such, there's some sort of link that she can build to Bonds' steroid use vis-a-vis discussing that portion of his body.

Is the flax seed defense going to work this time?
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely. The scenario that probably plays out is that Bonds' attorneys decide to attack Bell's character, just like they've been doing with everyone else (including childhood friend Steve Hoskins) this far.

Will next week mean that Bonds is going to jail?
This one's still up in the air. There's a significant problem for the prosecution because no one's been able to actually provide direct, irrefutable proof that Bonds used steroids. But, there's a decent possibility that the prosecution can turn the tides somewhat during the next week, if it's able to really build a link in the jurors minds that Bonds dealt with every single symptom of a steroid user.

Look, pretty much everyone's in agreement that Bonds probably took steroids. But there's no proof. There's no smoking gun and/or Greg Anderson (who's refusing to provide testimony that would likely make this an open-and-close case). And until there is, there's really no guarantee that -- for all the coverage that this case is getting -- Bonds will ever see the inside of a jail cell.

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