Saturday, January 15, 2005

Baseball Players Urine Samples Ordered Returned

In connection with the BALCO steroid prosecution, in April 2004 IRS agents seized all of the urine samples provided by major league baseball players as part of the now-replaced drug testing program.  The search took place the day after the major league baseball player's union filed a motion to quash a subpoena for the items to Quest Diagnostics, the lab the collected and analyzed them.  On Friday, Jan. 14, a federal court granted the union's motion to return all the urine samples and records to Quest Diagnostics.  According to an AP story (on ESPN.com Jan. 14), the government will not have to return the samples and records related to those players who testified before the federal grand jury in 2003 that ultimately indicted BALCO founder Victor Conte and three others.  Among those who testified were Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi, whose grand jury testimony was revealed in San Francisco Chronicle stories in December 2004 (see posts here on Jason Giambi and here on Barry Bonds).  Because the government can keep, and presumably use, the items related to the players who testified before the grand jury, that may indicate the government is looking at one or more of the witnesses for a possible perjury charge based on any discrepancy between the testimony and test results. (ph)

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