As federal prosecutors head toward the final days of preparing their perjury case against Barry Bonds, they apparently have lost the cooperation of a key witness.
The wife of Bonds' former personal trainer, Greg Anderson, agreed last year to talk to the feds but recently backed out before they were to meet, The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing several sources.
The sources said they did not know why Nicole Gestas chose not to cooperate, The Times reported.
Anderson is expected to follow through on his vow not to testify at Bonds' trial, which begins March 2. Anderson spent a year in prison after refusing to testify before a grand jury that was investigating Bonds and the home run king's use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Gestas and her mother have been points of interest as the feds ratchet up the pressure on Anderson to testify. Authorities have vowed to charge Gestas with criminal conspiracy, and last month federal agents raided the California home of Madeleine Gestas, who is the target of a tax investigation.
According to The Times' sources, Gestas previously had informed prosecutors via her lawyer that she was willing to talk about what Anderson had told her about his relationship with Bonds. She also agreed to discuss financial matters related to her husband's relationship with Bonds.
The day after the trial begins, lawyers are scheduled to ask potential jurors questions about their jobs, personal life, connections to any witnesses in the trial and other questions designed to root out bias.
According to The Times' report, prosecutors several years ago sent an undercover female agent to join the gym where Gestas was employed, with the hope the agent would befriend Gestas and glean information about Bonds. The attempt failed, the newspaper said.
Anderson served two terms in federal prison for refusing to appear in front of separate grand juries during the government's investigation of Bonds. Federal prosecutors believe Anderson can testify, among other things, that calendars and diary entries that document steroid use by a "BB" in fact refer to Bonds.
Anderson initially served 15 days in prison in July 2006, and then again from Aug. 28, 2006, until Nov. 15, 2007, in a federal correctional institute in Dublin, Calif. He also served three months in federal prison earlier in 2006 after he pleaded guilty in the BALCO steroid scandal.
Mark Geragos, a lawyer for Anderson, has insisted for some time that Anderson will never testify against Bonds.
"My client is never going to speak," he told ESPN.com in March 2007.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.