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"He didn't act sorry for himself and he didn't brag," Leftwich says. "But there were times he'd talk in his sleep, and one night I heard him saying, 'Don't you get it? I've touched the ass of greatness!' That's how I knew he was hurting."
Hours after raiding BALCO's offices in September 2003, federal agents searched Anderson's Burlingame condo. Led by Jeff Novitzky, the IRS agent who headed the probe, they found detailed doping calendars that the trainer kept for Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, and lesser-known players to whom he supplied steroids, Game of Shadows revealed. Court records show the feds also discovered $60,000 in cash and a hoard of growth hormone, testosterone, and other performance-enhancing drugs. (In the sort of ironic twist one might expect in a work of fiction, Anderson stashed some of the vials in his refrigerator alongside dozens of hormone-free eggs — 61 of them, to be exact.)
In late 2005, Anderson pleaded guilty to distributing steroids and money laundering, receiving a three-month prison term. Yet that represents less than one-fifth of the time he has spent locked up because of the BALCO case. For refusing to answer questions before a pair of grand juries, he has logged another 13 months behind bars. In August 2006, in finding Anderson in contempt of court, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said to the trainer's attorneys, "Sometimes sitting in the cooler for a long time may have a therapeutic effect and may change his mind."
In truth, apart from providing Anderson a chance to think up puerile nicknames for his antagonists — Jeff Noshitsky, Judge Alshole — jail has fortified his stubbornness. Leftwich recalls how the synthetically augmented trainer laughed when asked if he would ever consider testifying. "He pretended to pick up a phone and said, 'Hello, Judge Alshole? I got your therapeutic effect — it's in my pants!'"
Leftwich smiles at the memory. "To be honest, there's probably only one way he'd ever testify, and that's if the crapper backs up. For a month."
Anderson traded his spiky flattop for a mohawk with dreads earlier this year. One of his lawyers explained the rationale behind the change to ESPN.com: "What else can you control, other than your haircut, when you are in a shithole?"
But to a great degree, Anderson has controlled the BALCO probe with his public silence, slowing — and perhaps scuttling — the attempts of federal prosecutors to hand down more indictments, with Bonds ostensibly their biggest quarry. Leftwich describes his ex-cellie as motivated by disdain for the feds and devotion to Bonds. "He's not really worried about his own situation," Leftwich says. "The concern is for Barry. My sense is that Greg feels a deep, strictly platonic man-love for him."
In particular, the trainer, who stays in shape by performing precisely 714 sit-ups and push-ups a day, frets about Bonds' body adapting to its steroids-free condition. "He talked about muscles being like any other kind of meat — they gotta stay marinated," Leftwich says. "You take 'em out of the juice, sooner or later, they're gonna dry out."
According to Leftwich, not long after the BALCO case exploded, Anderson, fearing that his client would need to quit doping, whipped up the first batch of what Bonds would label "Barry's brew." The viscous, foul-smelling protein shake relies on elk semen for its nutritional kick, and with his friend in jail, Bonds has had to assume the task of picking up the special ingredient. So once or twice a month, to ensure he receives the freshest product possible, Bonds drives the 100-plus miles north to the Clearlake elk ranch of Sammy Clemens.
"Tell you what, he's not afraid to help with collecting the stuff himself," Clemens says. "That marvelous hand-eye coordination isn't limited to hitting a baseball."
Bonds' teammates voice less enthusiasm for his homemade concoction, complaining that he's perpetually rutting — aggressively rubbing his bald pate against them and bugling to establish dominance. "It makes you wish he was still taking cattle 'roids," says a player who requested anonymity. "Ever notice how not too many guys crowd around him in the dugout after he hits one out? That's why. Well, that and he's an asshole."
One might expect Anderson to second that opinion, considering the excess of verbal abuse and lack of money he got from Bonds, as Game of Shadows documented. As with the rest of his retinue, Bonds treated Anderson like chattel, paying him only now and then. When the multimillionaire star testified before the BALCO grand jury in December 2003, a juror inquired why he failed to share a bit more of his wealth with the trainer.
"Man, you have no idea how much elk splooge costs," Bonds retorted.
"Excuse me?" the juror asked.
"Did I fucking stutter?" Bonds snapped, invoking one of his favorite put-downs. "I don't have time for this shit. Magowan! You owe me another stadium, bitch."
But the weight guru betrays no resentment toward his famed friend and former client. Maybe he feels at peace with his ill-fated choices. Or maybe he's due a fat wad of cash from Bonds for staying mum. Either way, Leftwich maintains, Greg Anderson refuses to scorn a man already scorned by so many. "All he says is, 'I've been compensated. Barry hit No. 756.'"
Leftwich pauses. "Personally, I think that's bullshit."
Nic Foit and Ira Tes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org