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Friday, September 19, 2014

Barry Bonds: Conviction Might Be Overturned

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 12:38 PM

  • Fred Noland
There's still little debate among baseball observers that former SF Giants slugger Barry Bonds took steroids at some point in his career, though nobody has hard proof.

Bonds never tested positive for juicing, and never admitted to using drugs. His ever-swelling head and widening torso may have piqued suspicions during the late 90s, when he was chasing records set by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. But even those peculiarities ultimately told us nothing.

And now, the strongest piece of evidence against Bonds might get tossed out. Members of an 11-judge panel cast doubt over the government's 2011 obstruction of justice conviction during legal arguments on Thursday, suggesting that its interpretation of the law was overly broad.
The original conviction stemmed from Bond's rambling, equivocal testimony during a 2003 Grand Jury probe of BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative), a local company that marketed performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. Bonds told the jury he didn't know what substances his trainer was putting into his body — a statement that, while unhelpful, was never proved false. 

It was never cited in the federal indictment against bonds, and yet it was used to nail him for obstruction after a jury acquitted him of perjury in 2011.

Bonds missed his chance to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame last year because of the scandal, but he might have a chance to clear his legal record.

A decision isn't coming until early next year.

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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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