Drugs in Sport: Baseball rocked by Bonds and Giambi admissions

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The Independent Online

The ever-widening Balco scandal has sent new shockwaves through baseball, as it emerged that Barry Bonds, arguably the best player in the game, had used suspicious substances - even though Bonds insisted that he never knew they might be steroids.

In grand jury testimony obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, Bonds admitted using two products known as "the Clear" and "the Cream". Both were supplied to him by Greg Anderson, his personal trainer, who is one of four Balco employees charged with money laundering and dealing in illicit drugs.

In separate testimony, the New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi said that he had taken the two products, knowing they contained supposedly undetectable steroids. But Bonds told the Balco grand jury that he thought the cream was an anti-arthritis product, and that the colourless liquid was flaxseed oil.

In a separate interview with the Chronicle, the banned double world champion sprinter Kelli White said that she had been given a substance she was told was flaxseed oil. She later learned that it was the designer steroid THG, which she said was known as "the Clear".'

The Giambi and Bonds revelations have shaken baseball to the core. The Yankees have indicated that they will seek to cancel the remaining four years and $82m (£43m) on Giambi's contract, while a shadow has fallen across not only Bonds' glittering career but the very purity of the game.

The National League's Most Valuable Player seven times, Bonds has hit 703 home runs and holds the single-season record with 73. These feats will now be suspect, however loud the player's claims of innocence.