Bonds to sue over use of testimony

Associated Press
Published March 24, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO - Barry Bonds plans to sue the authors and publisher of a book that alleges the Giants slugger used steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, saying they used "illegally obtained" grand jury transcripts.

Bonds' attorneys sent a letter Thursday to an agent for the authors of Game of Shadows, alerting them of plans to sue the writers, publisher Gotham Books, the San Francisco Chronicle and Sports Illustrated, which published excerpts.

The letter, signed by Alison Berry Wilkinson, an associate of Bonds' lead attorney, Michael Rains, was posted on the Chronicle's Web site. A hearing was tentatively scheduled for today in San Francisco Superior Court.

"The reason we filed the lawsuit in the simplest terms possible is to prevent the authors from promoting themselves and profiting from illegal conduct," Rains told the Associated Press on Thursday.

He said laws prohibit people from possessing grand jury materials unless they are unsealed and said authors Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, both reporters for the Chronicle, "have made a complete farce of the criminal justice system."

The book, released Thursday, claims Bonds used steroids, human growth hormone, insulin and other banned substances for at least five seasons beginning in 1998.

"We certainly stand by our reporters and the reporting they did for us," Chronicle executive vice president and editor Phil Bronstein said.

A'S: DH Frank Thomas went 2-for-6 with two doubles and a sacrifice fly against major-league pitching at the minor-league complex.

NATIONALS: In his second day in leftfield, converted second baseman Alfonso Soriano made three routine grabs but let two catchable balls fall in front of him.

RED SOX: Rookie right-hander Jonathan Papelbon will begin the season in the bullpen. Right-hander Keith Foulke, who had offseason knee surgery, is scheduled to pitch in a minor-league game today.