Nikolai Bonds, the son of embattled baseball homerun king Barry Bonds, spoke publicly about his father for the first time in an exclusive interview with journalist Hannah Karp of the Wall Street Journal. Barry Bonds is currently on trial for perjury after the government accused him of lying to a 2003 grand jury investigating the BALCO steroids in baseball scandal. Bonds denied knowingly using anabolic steroids and receiving injections from his personal trainer.
Nikolai Bonds told Karp that he has been wearing a larger hat size than his father ever since middle school. Mike Murphy, the former San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse manager, testified last week that the senior Bonds’ cap size increased but the junior Bonds thinks Murphy confused his hat from that of his father. Nikolai Bonds began using a larger cap size to accommodate his hair.
The government believes that an enlarged head is a side effect from the use of human growth hormone. Larry Bowers, the Chief Science Officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), testified to the existence of this side effect on behalf of the government in spite of the absence of any solid scientific evidence supporting such an assertion.
Nikolai Bonds tells the Wall Street Journal that his cap size is bigger than his father’s cap size:
One of the most-talked-about bits of testimony against Bonds came from longtime San Francisco Giants clubhouse manager Mike Murphy, who testified last week that Bonds’s cap size increased an eighth of an inch sometime between 2000 and 2002, something experts say is a consistent with performance-enhancing-drug use.
Nikolai, who worked as a Giants batboy for years and had a locker next to his dad’s, offered a theory: Murphy may have confused his father’s caps with his. Nikolai said he started wearing slightly bigger hats than his father in middle school to accommodate his hair. “I totally believe [a mix-up] is possible,” he said. Murphy didn’t return calls for comment.
Since the government believes that large heads are a putative sign of performance-enhancing drug use, should Nikolai Bonds be worried that he will be targeted?! Mike Murphy also testified that baseball legend Willie Mays and Willie McCovey saw their cap sizes increase as well. Should we place an asterisk by their names too?