Recording of Barry Bonds' surgeon discovered; he had denied discussing player's alleged steroid use [Updated]
Prosecutors in the Barry Bonds perjury trial stunned the court Monday by revealing the discovery of a secret recording of Bonds' orthopedic surgeon, who denied last week that he had discussed the player's alleged steroid use with others.
Dr. Arthur Ting last week cast doubt on testimony by key prosecution witness Steve Hoskins, a childhood friend and former business partner of Bonds. Hoskins testified that he had repeated conversations with Ting about Bonds' alleged steroid use.
Now, Hoskins says he has discovered a recording he secretly made of the orthopedic surgeon. The contents of the recording have not yet been revealed by the prosecution.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston has yet to rule on whether the tape is admissible. She sent jurors home for the day after one juror reported being sick.
[Updated, 10:20 a.m.: The trial has recessed until 11:30 a.m. while the prosecution works on transcribing Hoskins' recording. Meanwhile, the judge has refused to sanction the prosecution for failing to give the defense exculpatory evidence but will consider a filing on it.
The juror who is ill has a gall stone.]
[Updated, 12:30 p.m.: Allen Ruby, Bonds' lead lawyer, told the court he did not believe the tape would be relevant.
"For many reasons, we think the transcript part of this will be moot and that it will never come into evidence," Ruby said. He told the court that he had hired technical experts to examine the tape and the recorder.
Prosecutors said they had informed Bonds’ defense team of the tape discovery late Sunday night.
Hoskins is a key prosecution witness. He was a family friend of Bonds who later worked for the San Francisco Giants' slugger. Hoskins carried Bonds’ equipment to the ballparks, made his appointments and worked with Bonds in a sports memorabilia business.
Hoskins told the jury that Bonds began using steroids in 1999 and complained of soreness from injections in his bottom. Hoskins also testified that Ting, an orthopedist to sports stars that include Tiger Woods, had told him that steroids were responsible for an elbow injury Bonds suffered.
But Hoskins’ credibility was called into question when Ting denied under oath on Thursday that he ever had such conversations with Hoskins.
Hoskins became a prosecution witness after he and Bonds had a falling out in 2003 over money. Bonds told the FBI that Hoskins had cheated him. Hoskins denied the accusations and told federal agents that Bonds was using illegal designer steroids and human growth hormones without a prescription.
In his court testimony, Hoskins said that at the time of the falling out, Hoskins secretly recorded Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, discussing how he allegedly administered the banned drugs. Hoskins testified that he also once recorded a conversation with Bonds’ lawyer.
But he said in court that he could not find a recording he claimed he also had made of Ting.
The court has recessed until 4 p.m. The trial will resume Tuesday if the ill juror has recovered.]
-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco
Photo: Witness Steve Hoskins walks in the lobby of a federal courthouse in San Francisco on March 23 after testifying in Barry Bonds' perjury trial. Credit: Liz Hafalia / Associated Press