The government may not call former baseball player Bobby Estalella to testify against homerun king Barry Bonds in his perjury trial. Estalella is the only baseball player on the government’s witness list with direct knowledge of Barry Bonds’ steroid use. Estalella was once identified as the “poster boy of the chemicals” in the ”Mitchell Report” (officially known as the “Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball”).
The government’s apparent decision to scrap Estalella from the witness list is somewhat surprising as many observers felt that he could provide the “most damaging testimony” regarding Barry Bonds awareness of knowingly using anabolic steroids. Bonds has stated under oath that he never knowingly used anabolic steroids.
According to court documents, Estalella, unlike other baseball players testifying, was expected to testify that Bonds “admitted using performance-enhancing drugs and that had several discussions regarding that topic” with him.
The government’s change of heart regarding Estalella may reflect discrepancies between testimony he gave to the BALCO grand jury and testimony he gave to the grand jury investigating Barry Bonds. He told the BALCO grand jury he had no knowledge of steroid use by Barry Bonds. However, he told the Bonds grand jury an entirely different thing.
Colorado Rockies Jason Giambi, former San Francisco Giants Marvin Benard, former Oakland A’s players Jeremy Giambi and Randy Velarde have already testified that they received steroids and hGH from Greg Anderson, Bonds’ personal trainer but none of the four players testifying had direct knowledge of Bonds use of performance-enhancing drugs.