Report: Bonds failed drug test


Published: Friday, January 12, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 12, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds said he did not get amphetamines from teammate Mark Sweeney, but did not deny a report Thursday saying he tested positive for the drugs last season.

According to a story in the New York Daily News, the San Francisco slugger failed an amphetamines test in 2006. The newspaper reported that when first informed of the positive result, Bonds attributed it to a substance he had taken from Sweeney's locker.

"He is both my teammate and my friend," Bonds said in a statement. "He did not give me anything whatsoever and has nothing to do with this matter, contrary to recent reports.

"I want to express my deepest apologies especially to Mark and his family as well as my other teammates, the San Francisco Giants organization and the fans," he said.

That's all the Giants star, shadowed by steroids allegations and only 22 home runs from breaking Hank Aaron's career home run record, said about the alleged positive drug test. Bonds has steadfastly denied used performance-enhancing drugs.

"Obviously, we're pleased that Barry has straightened this out," said Sweeney's agent, Barry Axelrod.

Bonds' reported positive test could be another snag in contract negotiations with the Giants. The sides reached a preliminary agreement on a $16 million, one-year contract Dec. 7, but the seven-time NL MVP still hasn't signed the deal or taken the mandatory physical that is part of the process.

The sides have been working to finalize complicated language in the contract that concerns the left fielder's compliance with team rules, as well as what would happen if he were to be indicted or have other legal troubles.

"Last night was the first time we heard of this recent accusation against Barry Bonds," the Giants said in the statement. "Under Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association, clubs are not notified after a player receives a first positive test for amphetamines."

Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president for labor relations, refused comment, according to spokesman Rich Levin.

"I don't comment on the drug program, and I've never heard Barry Bonds blame anybody for anything," Gene Orza, the union's chief operating officer, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

San Francisco's front office and fan base long have stood by Bonds through his off-the-field problems and injuries. So have his teammates, deciding in spring training last year to support him every step of the way.

"There are so many substances out there right now you don't know what you should take or what you should not," Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel said Thursday. "Right now, I'm afraid to take vitamins for the same reason. You don't know what's going to be positive or what's going to be negative."

YANKEES

Now that they have Andy Pettitte, the New York Yankees want Roger Clemens, too.

"He's kind of like your perfect employee," general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday after welcoming Andy Pettitte back to Yankee Stadium.

Clemens pitched for the Yankees alongside Pettitte from 1999-2003, helping them win two World Series titles and four AL pennants. The pair spent the last three seasons with their hometown Houston Astros.

"If Roger is interested in coming to New York, I'd love to talk to him," Cashman said. "He came in here and not only delivered a huge performance on the field but had a major impact within the clubhouse."

DODGERS

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack ... and throw in a dozen Dodger Dogs, too.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will give fans something to chew on next season: all-you-can eat seats.

The right-field pavilion at Dodger Stadium will be converted into the special section, giving around 3,000 fans as many hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos and sodas as they want.

Tickets will sell for $35 in advance and $40 on gameday, and some items at the concession stand aren't in play — beer, ice cream and candy will be sold separately at regular prices.

"Instead of paying cash, fans ask for whatever they want, and they get it. There are going to be some self-service parts, buffet-style, as well," Dodgers executive vice president and chief operating officer Marty Greenspun said.

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