Wednesday, June 7, 2006

National League Pitcher's Home Searched in Steroid Investigation

The Balco (Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative) investigation into steroid use by athletes took a new turn when agents searched the home of Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Jason Grimsley, who has bounced around the major leagues since 1989 (career statistics here).  An AP story (here) states that thirteen federal agents searched the home for "any and all records showing contact or relationship with any and all amateur or professional athletes, athletic coaches or athletic trainers" regarding steroid use.  Grimsley purportedly had been cooperating with investigators until April 2006, which is around the time when Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig appointed former Senator George Mitchell to conduct an internal investigation of steroid use in baseball.  That investigation began after the publication of a book about steroid use by Barry Bonds, who is being investigated for possible perjury before a grand jury in San Francisco in 2003 that was looking into Balco.  The affidavit supporting the search warrant application apparently contains the names of other players, although they have been blacked out at this point.

It is not clear what documents the government thinks Grimsley would have at his home, and agents were there for approximately six hours.  What is almost inevitable is that the names of other players believed to have used steroids will leak out, and the investigation may involve another round of grand jury testimony involving a new set of athletes.  In 2003, major league players Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield testified before the Balco grand jury in addition to Bonds.  The more immediate impact of the search at Grimsley's home was that shortly after it happened the D'backs lost to the Phillies, 10-1. (ph)

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