SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Barry Bonds’ personal trainer left federal court with his legal team Thursday after shuttling between secret grand jury hearings and closed-door appearances before a judge.

Greg Anderson was ordered to testify before a federal grand jury investigating Bonds on suspicion of perjury and tax evasion. His attorneys had promised that he would not testify and instead would fight the subpoena and go to prison if necessary.

His two appearances before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, who barred the public from entering, suggested that Anderson followed through on his vow of silence, and that White postponed his imprisonment pending a legal fight. A similar scenario played out in June, leading up to Anderson’s July 5 incarceration for two weeks after he declined to testify before a different grand jury investigating Bonds.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Anderson declined comment.

Leading to Thursday, Anderson’s defense team was saying the trainer had no intention of testifying in the case against the San Francisco Giants’ slugger and was prepared for his third prison stay in less than a year.

Anderson declined to comment as he entered the grand jury room just before 9 a.m. with attorney Matthew Geragos. The two again declined comment when they emerged about 90 minutes later and entered a nearby courtroom for the first closed-door hearing before White.

Anderson returned to the grand jury room around 2 p.m., and minutes later was back in White’s courtroom for another sealed hearing.

He later left without commenting to about a dozen reporters outside.

Anderson was released from prison last week on the same day prosecutors announced a grand jury investigating Bonds had expired without issuing an indictment. A new grand jury quickly was assembled, and Anderson received what was believed to be the first subpoena – ordering him to appear before the panel Thursday.

Authorities are investigating whether Bonds lied under oath when he told an earlier grand jury he didn’t know whether the substances given to him by Anderson were steroids. The probe also reportedly is focused on whether Bonds paid taxes on the sale of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sports memorabilia.

Anderson’s next legal move was not immediately known.

If Anderson again refused to testify, the judge is likely to find him in contempt of court and send him back to prison for a third time.

Anderson also served three months after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering stemming from the government’s investigation of the Bay Area lab that allegedly supplied Bonds and other elite athletes with performance-enhancing drugs.

Some legal experts see Anderson as the key to proving the perjury allegations, since Bonds reportedly testified that the Anderson gave him two substances that fit the description of “the cream” and “the clear” – two performance-enhancing drugs linked to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

In 2003, Bonds reportedly testified to the grand jury investigating BALCO that he believed the substances were flaxseed oil and arthritis balm, not steroids.

Anderson also could offer insight into the doping calendars bearing Bonds’ name that were seized when federal agents raided Anderson’s house, according to court papers connected to the steroids probe.

But Anderson’s lawyers say he shouldn’t have to testify because of the numerous leaks of secret grand jury testimony to the San Francisco Chronicle during the course of the four-year investigation. Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada have written a book based largely on leaked testimony.

“The gross, callous and destructive breaches of grand jury secrecy in this case create ample just cause for Mr. Anderson’s refusal to testify,” said one of Anderson’s attorneys, Mark Geragos, who is Matthew’s brother.

His lawyers also say the agreement he made with prosecutors to plead guilty last year in the BALCO case stipulated he wouldn’t have to cooperate in the investigation.

“The government is violating the terms of the plea bargain,” said attorney Paula Canny, a close Anderson associate.

The new grand jury ordering Anderson’s testimony can stay in session for as long as 18 months. By law, an intransigent Anderson can be locked up for the grand jury’s full term, though a judge can free him sooner if convinced Anderson never will talk.

AP-ES-07-27-06 1936EDT

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.