While Barry Bonds is still thinking about playing baseball again -- even after undergoing hip surgery recently -- there is still that tiny matter of possibly lying to a grand jury about his alleged steroid use to deal with. Back in November, Bonds scored a minor victory when three of the charges against him were dropped, but that news is nothing compared to a report from Yahoo!'s Jonathan Littman today.
Now whether or not Bonds ever lied to a grand jury about steroid use is still up for debate, but we can now be confident that he wasn't lying to the jury if all he ever took was the Clear. That's because Yahoo! did some digging through the grand jury testimony and guess what they found out? Turns out the Clear was not only absent from the banned substances list when Bonds allegedly took it, but it wasn't even considered a steroid.
Not only was the performance-enhancing drug tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) not specifically banned when athletes squirted "The Clear" under their tongues to gain an edge, the testimony also indicates that the drug wasn't categorized by the Justice Department as a steroid until January 2005, long after the drug laboratory had been shuttered.
Yahoo! Sports has examined sealed grand jury testimony given by drug-testing expert Dr. Donald Catlin in 2003 and BALCO lead investigator Jeff Novitzky in 2004. Both men testified that THG was not a steroid according to the federal criminal code. Furthermore, Novitzky testified that "there's never been any studies to show whether or not THG does, in fact, enhance muscle growth."
In other words, when Bonds was going about his business setting the single-season home run mark back in 2001, he could have stepped up to the plate, pulled out a medical dropper full of the Clear, and placed it under his tongue right there in front of everybody with no fear of repercussions.
Of course this could just be the beginning of a whole bunch of revelations about Bonds' case, along with everybody else who is involved in the BALCO scandals. Back in November, the judge in Bonds' perjury case lifted the protective order on 30,000 pages of documents (that's a lot of dead trees) from the BALCO case. Who knows what else we'll be finding out about over the coming months.