Barry Bonds' personal trainer refused to tell a grand jury Thursday whether he gave the slugger steroids, but a federal judge did not jail Greg Anderson for contempt of court.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup rejected prosecutors' request to hold Anderson, saying he must review the transcript of the brief grand jury hearing and hear arguments from lawyers. He ordered Anderson, 40, to return to court Aug. 28.
The contempt hearing was the first time prosecutors publicly revealed they are targeting Bonds in the probe connected to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative performance-enhancing drug ring linked to some of the world's top athletes, including Yankees star Jason Giambi and sprinter Tim Montgomery.
On Anderson's fourth appearance before a federal grand jury, he answered basic questions, including his name. Until now, he had answered no questions.
Federal prosecutor Matt Parrella then asked Anderson, "Did you distribute anabolic steroids to Barry Bonds?"
Anderson refused to answer.
Anderson spent 15 days in prison last month for refusing to testify, but was freed after that grand jury's term expired.
He also served three months in prison and three months of home detention after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering stemming from the government's investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), which allegedly supplied Bonds and other athletes with performance-enhancing drugs.
Government lawyers are investigating whether Bonds lied under oath when he told an earlier grand jury he didn't know whether the substances Anderson gave him were steroids.
The grand jury probe also reportedly is focused on whether the San Francisco Giants slugger paid taxes on the sale of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sports memorabilia.
The New York Times reported last month that the grand jury is also probing the possible involvement of, the track coach of sprinters Marion Jones and Justin Gatlin. Gatlin, the 100-meter co-world record holder, tested positive earlier this year for elevated levels of testosterone.
Some legal experts see Anderson as the key to proving the perjury allegations, since Bonds reportedly testified that the trainer gave him two substances that fit the description of "the cream" and "the clear," two drugs linked to BALCO. In 2003, Bonds reportedly testified to the grand jury investigating BALCO that he believed the substances were flaxseed oil and arthritis balm, not steroids.
Anderson also could offer insight into the doping calendars bearing Bonds' name that were seized by federal agents from the trainer's house, according to court papers.
But Anderson's lawyers say he shouldn't have to testify because of the numerous leaks of secret grand jury testimony to the San Francisco Chronicle during the course of the four-year investigation. Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada have written a book based largely on testimony leaked by unnamed sources.
A different federal judge has told the reporters they must tell a grand jury who gave them the information. The pair have said they would go to jail rather than reveal their source or sources.
Anderson's lawyers also say the agreement he made with prosecutors to plead guilty last year in the BALCO case stipulated he wouldn't have to cooperate with investigators. Anderson also shouldn't have to testify because he was the target of an illegal wiretap, they argue.
Also Thursday, Tom Brady's name was linked with Anderson's. The New England Patriots quarterback got in touch with Anderson five or six years ago when he was looking for a place to work out.
In a statement from Anderson that was unsealed by federal prosecutors today, Brady had two conversations over the phone with Anderson. One of which was about a potential future workout.
Brady attended the same Bay Area high school as Bonds.
Brady stressed after practice today that he never worked out with Anderson and that the phone conversation was the first and last time they were ever in contact.