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Judge in Barry Bonds' perjury trial rejects transcript of secret recording of his orthopedic surgeon

April 5, 2011 |  5:06 pm

The judge presiding over the Barry Bonds perjury trial has refused to admit a transcript of a secret recording made of the slugger’s orthopedic surgeon and tentatively ruled that she would throw out all prosecution testimony about how steroids shrink testicles.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled inadmissible a recording that Steve Hoskins, a former friend of Bonds, made of Dr. Arthur Ting, his orthopedic surgeon.

A transcript of the tape contained mostly statements by Hoskins about a federal raid of a Bay Area laboratory that distributed illegal steroids. Illston said the recording was “barely intelligible” and dealt largely with Hoskins reporting what he had read in newspapers.

Hoskins had testified that he spoke often with Ting about Bonds’ use of steroids. Ting denied having those conversations in his testimony.

Illston said the government also had failed to lay a foundation for testimony by Bonds’ former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, that his testicles shrank after he began using steroids.

In addition, the judge said she was inclined to throw out testimony by a prosecution expert witness who said steroids cause testicles to shrink by about 20% in length.

The prosecution rested its case Tuesday, and defense lawyers said they would recall  Hoskins to the stand on Wednesday. In addition to recording Ting, Hoskins also secretly recorded Bonds’ personal trainer and business lawyer.

Allen Ruby, Bonds’ lead lawyer, said the taped conversation with the lawyer was on the same disc as the recording of the trainer. Ruby said he was recalling Hoskins so the recording of the business meeting could be admitted into evidence.

Ruby said it provided evidence that Hoskins made an “extortion threat" when he and Bonds had a falling out over money in March 2003. Ruby said the defense would use the tape to attack Hoskins' credibility.
Hoskins, a star witness for the prosecution, previously told the jury that the former San Franciso Giants slugger began using steroids in 1999.

Bonds, who holds baseball's record for most career home runs, is charged with lying to a grand jury in 2003 when he testified that he had not knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.

-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco