Federal prosecutors appealed a key ruling in the Barry Bonds perjury trial Friday.
At the last minute, prosecutors decided on a course that will certainly delay the start of the case by "several months."
Also Friday, personal trainer Greg Anderson, who would be a key prosecution witness in Barry Bonds' perjury trial next week, told a federal judge in San Francisco today that he will refuse to testify.
Bonds, 44, was due to go on trial in the court of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on Monday on charges of lying to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied knowingly taking steroids.
Anderson, 43, Bonds' trainer and childhood friend, would be a key prosecution witness because his testimony would be needed to authenticate three positive steroids tests and alleged doping calendars that prosecutors claim are linked to the baseball champion.
Anderson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, told the judge that his client will appear in court as summoned on Wednesday, but "he's not going to testify."
Illston told Anderson, "If you testify, your testimony would be central to the prosecution of that case."
She told the trainer that she will find him in contempt of court and imprison him if he declines to testify and then asked Anderson whether he plans to refuse. Anderson answered, "Yes."
If Anderson is found in civil contempt of court, he could be imprisoned for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last three to four weeks.
But prosecutor Matthew Parrella asked the judge to consider finding Anderson in criminal contempt of court, which could mean a lengthier prison term. The judge made no decision.
Anderson previously spent more than a year in prison for civil contempt of court for refusing to testify before a grand jury that eventually indicted Bonds in 2007.