Report: Bonds Failed Amphetamines Test

San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds tosses his helmet in the air after being called out at second in a double play during the seventh inning of their Major League baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Friday night, April 14, 2006 in Los Angeles. The Giants won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) AP Photo

Barry Bonds failed a test for amphetamines last season and originally blamed it on a teammate, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

When first informed of the positive test, Bonds attributed it to a substance he had taken from teammate Mark Sweeney's locker, the newspaper said, citing several unnamed sources.

"I have no comment on that," Bonds' agent Jeff Borris told the Daily News on Wednesday night.

"Mark was made aware of the fact that his name had been brought up," Sweeney's agent Barry Axelrod told the Daily News. "But he did not give Barry Bonds anything, and there was nothing he could have given Barry Bonds."

Bonds, who always has maintained he never has tested positive for illegal drug use, already is under investigation for lying about steroid use.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether the 42-year-old Bonds perjured himself when he testified in 2003 in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid distribution case that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs. The San Francisco Giants slugger told a 2003 federal grand jury that he believed his trainer Greg Anderson had provided him flaxseed oil and arthritic balm, not steroids.

Under baseball's amphetamines policy, which went into effect last season — well after the steroids policy was implemented in 2003 — players are not publicly identified for a first positive test. A second positive test for amphetamines results in a 25-game suspension. The first failed steroids test costs a player 50 games.

Bonds did not appeal the positive test, according to the Daily News. That makes him subject to six drug tests by MLB over the next six months. The allegations about steroid use were not sufficient to require drug tests.

"We're not in a position to confirm or deny, obviously," MLB spokesman Rich Levin told the Daily News.

According to the newspaper, Sweeney learned of the Bonds' positive test from Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Orza told Sweeney, the paper said, that he should remove any troublesome substances from his locker and should not share said substances. Sweeney said there was nothing of concern in his locker, according to the Daily News' sources.

An AP message for Sweeney was not immediately returned late Wednesday.

The Giants still are working to finalize complicated language in Bonds' $16 million, one-year contract for next season — a process that has lasted almost a month since he agreed to the deal Dec. 7 on the last day of baseball's winter meetings.

The language still being negotiated concerns the left fielder's compliance with team rules, as well as what would happen if he were to be indicted or have other legal troubles.

Borris has declined to comment on the negotiations. He didn't immediately return a message from the AP on Wednesday night.

Bonds is set to begin his 15th season with the Giants only 22 home runs shy of surpassing Hank Aaron's career record of 755.

Bonds, considered healthy again following off-season surgery on his troublesome left elbow, has spent 14 of his 21 big league seasons with San Francisco and helped the Giants draw 3 million fans in all seven seasons at their waterfront ballpark.

After missing all but 14 games in 2005 following three operations on his right knee, Bonds batted .270 with 26 homers and 77 RBIs in 367 at-bats in 2006. He passed Babe Ruth to move into second place on the career home run list May 28.

Yet an AP-AOL poll as the 2006 season closed showed 48 percent of fans want the San Francisco star to fall short of Aaron's mark; 33 percent would like Bonds to break it and another 16 percent said they didn't care.

"I just think that there's kind of too much of a cloud of uncertainty about him and the steroid issue, that it would be good for baseball if he didn't break it to kind of keep that number sacred," said 24-year-old fan Alex Bast during the National League championship series.

Allegations of steroid use are widely believed the reason baseball writers spurned Mark McGwire's bid for the Hall of Fame Wednesday, with less than a quarter of the scribes saying he belongs in Cooperstown. And the player whose book first made public allegations of steroid use, Jose Canseco, fared so poorly in the balloting that he will be dropped from future consideration.
  • Lloyd Vries

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