The chemist known as the creator of "the clear," a previously undetectable steroid distributed by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, told HBO Sports' Bob Costas that he believes both sluggers took performance-enhancing substances. A report on the interview first appeared on The New York Times' Web site on Tuesday night.
Arnold pleaded guilty to distributing steroids in 2006 and was sentenced to three months in prison and three months of home confinement, but as part of his plea he was not required to name those who may have received performance-enhancing drugs.
In the interview, Arnold said that he had never met Bonds but Victor Conte, the founder of BALCO, raved about the Giants outfielder's performance on "the program." Arnold was asked if "the program" included steroids.
"I have a very strong feeling about it since he was on the program. And like everyone else, the program consisted of the clear," Arnold said, according to The Times.
However, appearing on ESPN Radio on Wednesday, Arnold said he couldn't say definitely that Bonds was on "the program" and that his comments should be viewed as an opinion, "albeit an informed opinion."
"To me it was always implicit that an athlete that Victor was working with was on the program," Arnold told ESPN Radio.
Arnold told ESPN Radio that the program included a variety of drugs, including growth hormones, EPO, steroids like the "clear" and the "cream" and stimulants.
Bonds has repeatedly denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing substances, and Conte denied supplying them.
"At no time did I tell Patrick that I provided Barry with any type of anabolic steroids," Conte said in a statement, according to the paper. "The program I created for Barry was a comprehensive nutritional supplementation regimen and had nothing to do with 'the clear' or any other anabolic steroids."
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Conte again reiterated that he didn't give Bonds steroids.
"Why would a baseball player have needed an undetectable steroid when drug testing wasn't mandated until 2003? To suggest that Barry's 2001 record of 73 home runs was assisted by 'the clear' is ridiculous and simply makes no sense," he told the newspaper.
Sheffield recently said that he didn't take steroids because "they are something you shoot in your butt."
Arnold, the last of five defendants convicted of steroid-distribution charges connected to BALCO, scoffed at that characterization.
"That's an ignorant statement," he said, according to The Times. "That's some sort of weird rationalization. No, he took steroids. This is a bona fide anabolic steroid."
According to leaked testimony, Bonds and Sheffield told a grand jury that they did not knowingly take steroids, but Bonds is being investigated based on his statements. He testified that he believed he was using flaxseed oil and an arthritic balm.