Government wants leak source divulged
By David Ginsburg / Associated Press
The Bush administration urged a federal judge Wednesday to force two San Francisco Chronicle reporters to divulge who leaked them secret grand jury testimony of Barry Bonds and other athletes who took part in the government's BALCO probe.
Noting that it is a crime to leak grand jury materials to the media, "there is no reporter's privilege in criminal cases, under the First Amendment or under common law," federal prosecutors Brian Hershman and Michael Raphael wrote in a 51-page brief.
The attorneys said California's shield law protecting California reporters from divulging their sources does not apply to the federal probe of who violated a court order and leaked the documents.
Reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada reported a series of stories beginning in 2004 detailing the secret testimony of Bonds, Jason Giambi and others who were called to testify before a grand jury probing the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. The government's investigation unveiled BALCO as a steroid ring posing as a nutritional supplement company.
Williams and Fainaru-Wada also wrote the book "Game of Shadows," which details Bonds' alleged use of steroids, insulin and human growth hormone.
In other developments:
Baltimore Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo testified in a probe headed by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to investigate the use of steroids in baseball. Perlozzo and strength coach Tim Bishop were among those on the coaching staff who were in line to be interviewed. Investigators intend to speak with staff members of all 30 teams.
Jim Beattie, the Orioles' executive vice president from December 2002 until he was demoted to a consultant's position last October, told the Baltimore Sun that former Orioles first baseman David Segui informed him on Sept. 12, 2004, that he was using HGH. Beattie contends that he pointedly asked Segui why he was using the substance, which is now illegal under baseball's new drug policy, and was given no answer. Segui was placed on the disabled list the next day and never played major league baseball again.