Originally created 08/16/06

Judge orders reporters to testify



SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge told two San Francisco Chronicle reporters they must comply with a subpoena and tell a grand jury who leaked them secret testimony of Barry Bonds and other elite athletes ensnared in the government's steroid probe.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White means reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada must appear before a grand jury investigating the leak unless a higher court blocks the ruling. The pair have said they would not testify and would go to jail rather than reveal their source or sources.

The two reporters published a series of articles and a book based partly on transcripts of testimony by Bonds, Jason Giambi and others who testified in the grand jury investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. Known as BALCO, the Burlingame-based nutritional supplement company was exposed as a steroid ring that netted five convictions.

The criminal conduct being investigated in the Bonds leak case includes possible perjury and obstruction of justice by government officials, defendants in the BALCO probe and their attorneys.

All have sworn they weren't the source of the leak.

The government told White that its investigation has turned up empty, and that Williams and Fainaru-Wada are the last hope of finding the culprit or culprits.

In his ruling, White said his hands were tied by a 1972 Supreme Court precedent that no one, including journalists, was above the law and may refuse to testify before a federal grand jury that has subpoenaed them.

RANGERS: Texas placed right-hander Kip Wells on the 15-day disabled list.

Wells, acquired by the Rangers from Pittsburgh in a July 31 trade, sprained his left foot on an awkward follow-through while throwing a pitch in his previous start Friday night against Seattle.

The Rangers recalled right-hander Scott Feldman from Triple-A Oklahoma.

METS: New York ace Pedro Martinez was examined in New York on Tuesday, one day after a strained right calf forced him out of his start against Philadelphia following the worst first inning of his career.

New York manager Willie Randolph was optimistic that Martinez's injury wasn't serious. A team spokesman said results of the tests won't be known until today.

ASTROS: Houston requested waivers for outfielder Preston Wilson on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old batted .269 and was second on the team with 55 RBI this season, but hit only nine home runs - not the power the Astros were expecting when they signed him as a free agent in January.

CARDINALS: St. Louis center fielder Jim Edmonds left Tuesday night's game against Cincinnati after four innings because of dizziness.

Edmonds took the field and warmed up before the fifth inning started, then needed attention from trainer Barry Weinberg and manager Tony La Russa before walking off.



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