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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Former Holliston High star embroiled in Barry Bonds controversy

SPORTS

Barry Bonds is never one to admit guilt. This time, he pointed the finger at his San Francisco Giants' teammate, former Holliston High star Mark Sweeney.

Closing in on Henry Aaron's major league home record, the 42-year-old Bonds failed a test for amphetamines last season and originally blamed it on Sweeney, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

When he was first informed of his positive test, Bonds attributed it to a substance he had taken from Sweeney's locker, the Daily News said, citing unnamed sources.

"Mark was made aware of the fact that his name had been brought up," Sweeney's agent Barry Axelrod told the Daily News. "But he did not give Barry Bonds anything, and there was nothing he could have given Barry Bonds."

Bonds, who always has maintained he never has tested positive for illegal drug use, already is under investigation for lying about steroid use.

According to the newspaper, Sweeney learned of Bonds' positive test from Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Orza told Sweeney, the paper said, that he should remove any troublesome substances from his locker and should not share said substances. Sweeney said there was nothing of concern in his locker, according to the Daily News' sources.

A message left for Sweeney by The Associated Press was not immediately returned late Wednesday.

Sweeney,a 37-year-old reserve first baseman/outfielder, hit .251 with five home runs and 37 RBI in 114 games last season, his first in San Francisco. Over an 11-year major league career, Sweeney is a .260 hitter and is considered one of the game's premier pinch-hitters. He starred at the University of Maine after playing for Harvey Krupnick at Holliston High.

-- AP

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