Monday, March 21st, 2011

USA v. Barry Bonds

With Opening Day less than two weeks away, a significant baseball story is brewing in San Francisco. And this story takes place nowhere near the playing field. Today, jury selection concluded for the trial of Barry Bonds, a former member of the San Francisco Giants. Bonds is accused of lying while under oath when he denied using steroids in late 2003. Following hours of questioning, Bonds' lawyers and the prosecution agreed upon 12 jurors and two alternates. Now, the fate of the all-time home run leader will rest in the hands of four men and eight women.

In December 2003, Bonds was asked to testify regarding his involvement with his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, and Victor Conte's Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO). During that testimony, Bonds admitted to taking "flax seed oil" and claimed he did not use steroids.

Anderson has repeatedly refused to testify against Bonds. In 2005, Anderson was sentenced to serve three months in prison with three months of home confinement after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering for his role with the BALCO case. In the absence of Anderson, the prosecution intends to use testimony from other athletes, one of which is Jason Giambi. Giambi, a former American League MVP, has connections to BALCO from his time playing for the Oakland Athletics.

Two of Bond's failed urine samples will be introduced as evidence. One urine test taken on June 4, 2003 tested positive for Tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG. A second test from July 7, 2006 tested positive for an amphetamine. Kimberly Bell, Bonds' former mistress will be asked to testify about changes to the former outfielder's body during their relationship. There are claims that Bonds' head size grew significantly during his time with the Giants. According to U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, the trial is expected to last three to four weeks.

Barry Bonds currently holds two high-profile Major League Baseball records, the single season total (73), and the all-time mark (762). In 2001, he set the single season home run record when he surpassed Mark McGwire's total. In 2007, Bonds became the all-time home run leader when he eclipsed Henry Aaron's career total of 755. He ended his playing career at the conclusion of the 2007 season. It's rumored that Bonds began tampering with performance-enhancing drugs following the home run chase in 1998. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa both passed Roger Maris' single season record of 61 home runs.

Barry Bonds was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1986 through 1992. He was a member of the San Francisco Giants from 1993 until his retirement following the 2007 season. He was a 14-time All-Star, won seven National League MVP awards, and played in the 2002 World Series.


4 Comments
RickMonday
I think a nice 3 month stint in the county pen would be appropriate.
RickMonday   Tuesday, March 22, 2011
billpearch
Did you read the book Game of Shadows?
Bill Pearch   Tuesday, March 22, 2011
RickMonday
No, do you recommend it?
RickMonday   Tuesday, March 22, 2011
billpearch
Yes, it provides insight into the BALCO case. Though Bonds is the spotlight, it talks about other athletes that decided to get involved.
Bill Pearch   Tuesday, March 22, 2011
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