Bonds indicted (what took so long?)

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whtigers
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Location: Iowa

Barry Bonds was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice Thursday and could go to prison instead of the Hall of Fame for telling a federal grand jury he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs.

The indictment came just three months after the San Francisco Giants star broke Hank Aaron's career home run record, and it culminated a four-year investigation into steroid use by elite athletes.

But for all the speculation and accusations that clouded his pursuit of Aaron, Bonds was never identified by Major League Baseball as testing positive for steroids, and personal trainer Greg Anderson spent most of the last year in jail for refusing to testify against his longtime friend.

Then came the indictment - four counts of perjury, one of obstruction of justice; a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison - and Bonds' lawyers seemed caught off guard.

The 10-page report mainly consists of excerpts from Bonds' December 2003 testimony before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO. It cites 19 occasions in which Bonds allegedly lied under oath.

"I'm surprised," said one of his lawyers, John Burris, "but there's been an effort to get Barry for a long time. I'm curious what evidence they have now they didn't have before."

Burris said he didn't know of the indictment before being alerted by The Associated Press. He said he would call Bonds to notify him.

Anderson was released from prison after the indictment was handed up and refused comment as he walked out.

His attorney, Mark Geragos, said the trainer didn't cooperate with the grand jury.

"This indictment came out of left field," Geragos said. "Frankly, I'm aghast. It looks like the government misled me and Greg as well, saying this case couldn't go forward without him."

Bonds is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Dec. 7.

Defense attorney Mike Rains said he spoke briefly with Bonds but did not describe his reaction. At an evening news conference, he read a statement accusing federal prosecutors of "unethical misconduct" and declined to take questions.

"Every American should worry about a Justice Department that doesn't know if waterboarding is torture and can't tell the difference between prosecution on the one hand and persecution on the other," Rains said.

But while San Franciscans cheered his every swing and fans elsewhere scorned every homer, a grand jury quietly worked behind closed doors to put the finishing touches on its report.

"During the criminal investigation, evidence was obtained including positive tests for the presence of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances for Bonds and other athletes," the indictment said.

Bonds is by far the highest-profile figure caught up in the steroids probe, which also ensnared track star Marion Jones. She pleaded guilty in October to lying to federal investigators about using steroids and faces up to six months in prison.

The Giants, the players' union and even the White House called it a sad day for baseball.

"This is a very sad day. For many years, Barry Bonds was an important member of our team and is one of the most talented baseball players of his era. These are serious charges. Now that the judicial process has begun, we look forward to this matter being resolved in a court of law," the Giants said.

Union head Donald Fehr said he was "saddened" to learn of the indictment, but cautioned that "every defendant, including Barry Bonds, is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless and until such time as he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

In Washington, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said: "The president is very disappointed to hear this. As this case is now in the criminal justice system, we will refrain from any further specific comments about it. But clearly this is a sad day for baseball."

Commissioner Bud Selig withheld judgment, saying, "I take this indictment very seriously and will follow its progress closely."

Bush, who once owned the Texas Rangers, called Bonds to congratulate him in August when the Giants' outfielder broke the home run mark. "You've always been a great hitter and you broke a great record," Bush said at the time.

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who is investigating drug use in baseball, declined comment.

Bonds was charged in the indictment with lying when he said he didn't knowingly take steroids given to him by Anderson. Bonds is also charged with lying that Anderson never injected him with steroids.

"Greg wouldn't do that," Bonds testified in December 2003 when asked if Anderson ever gave him any drugs that needed to be injected. "He knows I'm against that stuff."

Prosecutors promised Bonds they wouldn't charge him with any drug-related counts if he testified truthfully. But according to the indictment, Bonds repeatedly denied taking any steroids or performance-enhancing drugs despite evidence to the contrary.

For instance, investigators seized a so-called "doping calendar" labeled "BB" during a raid of Anderson's house.

"He could know other BBs," Bonds replied when shown the calendar during his testimony.

Asked directly if Anderson supplied him with steroids, Bonds answered: "Not that I know of." Bonds even denied taking steroids when he was shown documents revealing a positive steroids test for a player named Barry B.

"I've never seen these documents," Bonds said. "I've never seen these papers."

The indictment does not explain where prosecutors obtained those results, but they likely were conducted at BALCO. Bonds first visited in November 2000 and submitted to the series of urine and drug tests conducted by BALCO founder Victor Conte on every athlete who went through the lab.

The test results may have been seized when federal agents raided BALCO in September 2003.

Conte said Thursday the tests were administered to protect athletes from taking legal supplements contaminated with illegal steroids. But he said he had no way of knowing Bonds' test results because the samples were assigned numbers rather than names.

"The reason for the testing wasn't to circumvent the system," Conte said. "It was to protect the athletes."

Bonds said at the end of the 2003 season, Anderson rubbed some cream on his arm that the trainer said would help him recover. Anderson also gave him something he called "flax seed oil," Bonds said.

Bonds then testified that prior to the 2003 season, he never took anything supplied by Anderson - which the indictment alleges was a lie because the doping calendars seized from Anderson's house were dated 2001.

Speculation of his impending indictment had mounted for more than a year, but the specter of steroid allegations have shadowed him for much longer.

The government's steroids probe went public in September 2003, when federal agents raided the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) - the Burlingame-based supplements lab that was the center of a steroids distribution ring.

Bonds joins a parade of defendants tied to the BALCO investigation, including Anderson, who served three months in prison and three months of home detention after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering.

BALCO founder Victor Conte also served three months in prison after he pleaded guilty to steroids distribution. But Conte has long insisted that Bonds didn't get steroids from his lab.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7452044

whtigers
votes: 0

Posts: 317
Location: Iowa

Commissioner's statement

11/15/2007 6:55 PM ET

MLB.com

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig issued the following statement today regarding the indictment of Barry Bonds on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice:

"I have yet to see the details of this indictment and while everyone in America is considered innocent until proven guilty, I take this indictment very seriously and will follow its progress closely. It is important that the facts regarding steroid use in baseball be known, which is why I asked Senator Mitchell to investigate the issue. I look forward to receiving his report and findings so that we can openly address any issue associated with past steroid use. We currently have a testing program that is as good as any in professional sports, and the program is working. We continue to fund research to find an efficacious test for HGH and have banned amphetamines from our sport. We will continue to work diligently to eradicate the use of all illegal performance-enhancing substances from the game."

http://mlb.mlb.com/content/printer_frie ... 301187.jsp

Dave
votes: 0
Site Admin
Posts: 842

Remember him at that press conference after he got the record he kept saying on camera "The record is not tainted in any way whatsoever". If he's found guilty they're gonna be using that against him for a loooong time.

scubathreefifty
votes: 0
Posts: 19

The real question is: "Why wasn't he indicted before he broke the home run record"?

Now we just have another asterick in the record book and another Pete Rose.

Smells like a baseball $$$$$$ grab and to put more people in the stands.

whtigers
votes: 0

Posts: 317
Location: Iowa

This topic will be talked about for years. The Africa American community will say it's because of race and other baseball fans will say that it is to keep the game pure. I am sorry but what's done is done. Baseball is as much to blame for the whole thing as Bonds. They totally failed to ensure the integrity of the game. I agree with you scuba, it seems to be all about $$$$$.

#1cubfan
votes: 0
Posts: 76

I hate Bonds, he a an ovestuffed blow hard. I wish we could have avoided this topic on this site. Way too much attention is paid to that guy. Jail would be too good for him.


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