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Friday, June 11, 2010

Feds' Case Against Bonds Evaporating

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Feds Losing Their Heads
  • Feds Losing Their Heads
The quest to incarcerate home run champion Barry Lamar Bonds took a perhaps fatal twist on Friday, when a judge ruled that prosecutors cannot use key evidence in their case to prove the 45-year old slugger lied about using steroids.

The evidence are the results of blood and urine tests conducted by the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) in 2003. Federal prosecutors contend the test results will prove Bonds used steroids and ergo lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he said he wasn't on the juice.

Judges threw out the evidence because it constitutes hearsay testimony, they said. Greg Anderson, Bonds's former trainer and friend, conducted the tests but has refused to authenticate them or testify against Bonds (Anderson spent 13 and a half months behind bars as a result). Without Anderson's testimony, the test results are hearsay, and ultimately useless.

Prosecutors argued that Anderson was acting as Bonds's employee, and thus the test results should be allowed in court. But in perhaps the finest piece of legal writing ever, Circuit Judge Mary Schroeder wrote, "Rather than exercise control over Anderson's training program, Bonds testified that he had a 'Dude, whatever' attitude to Anderson's actions."

The U.S. Attorney's Office can appeal upstairs to the U.S. Supreme Court, and while we'd love hearing Antonin Scalia say, "Dude, whatever," we're not sure how much more of a stomach the Department of Justice has for BALCO. With everyone else seemingly turning their attention elsewhere, how much cash and resources can the DOJ commit to pursuing charges against a retired baseball player?

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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