SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds's attorney is asking federal authorities to investigate who told a newspaper that the San Francisco Giants forwarded the baseball star's medical records to a grand jury investigating him for perjury and tax evasion.
Citing two people familiar with the probe, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday that the US Attorney's office had received the medical records last week in response to a subpoena issued to the team.
Bonds's lawyer, Michael Rains, said there is nothing in the records indicating Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs. Still, Rains said yesterday he would file a complaint with a federal judge in San Francisco protesting what he alleged was a government leak of his client's medical records.
``Basically, we're sending a letter to the US Attorney and court seeking an investigation into the leak of the medical records," said Maggie Bedig, a spokesperson for Rains.
The government's steroid probe has been riddled with leaks, and investigators already are seeking the testimony of two Chronicle reporters to find out who leaked them the secret testimony of Bonds, Jason Giambi, and other athletes who testified before a grand jury in 2003.
A spokesman for US Attorney Kevin Ryan denied his office was the source of any leak.
``The government understands and readily complies with its obligation to keep all sensitive material confidential," Luke Macaulay said yesterday in a statement. ``We always welcome, and have in fact ourselves requested, investigations into all potential sources of leaks of such sensitive material, including potential nongovernmental sources."
Bonds is suspected of lying to a grand jury when he testified in December 2003 that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs. A second grand jury was convened to investigate those allegations, as well as whether Bonds failed to pay taxes on the sale of memorabilia.
That grand jury expired last week without an indictment, but a new panel will take up the probe and begin hearing testimony as soon as this week.
Bonds memorabilia will be in the forefront this week as the ball he hit for his 715th home run is auctioned off. Seattle-based Mpire and Bay Area online marketplace
Memorabilia experts have said the allegations dogging Bonds may keep the bidding low, with an estimated top bid of $300,000. Mark McGwire's record-setting 70th home run ball from the 1998 season sold for $3.3 million.