Reporters jailed for not naming source

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The Independent US

Two reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle have been sentenced to 18 months in prison for refusing to testify about who gave them secret grand jury testimony from the baseball player Barry Bonds and other elite athletes.

The journalists, Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, wrote a series of articles and a book based partly on the leaked transcripts before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a nutritional supplement company that has been exposed as providing steroids to athletes.

Mr Williams and Mr Fainaru-Wada have repeatedly said they would go to jail rather than comply with the grand jury's subpoenas and reveal their source or sources.

The reporters agreed with the government that they are in contempt, but had sought a "nominal monetary fine" and other punishment "short of full-blown incarceration", according to court documents.

The authorities are seeking to prosecute whoever unlawfully leaked the transcripts, and told Judge White that the reporters were the only ones who knew the identity of their sources.

The Chronicle reported that Bonds told the grand jury that he believed he was using flaxseed oil and arthritic balm, not steroids, supplied by his trainer Greg Anderson, one of five defendants convicted in the steroid scandal. AP

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