Posted Nov. 15 - It's been coming for a long time but a federal grand jury has finally charged Major League Baseball’s home-run king Barry Bonds with four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. They say Bonds, now a free agent, lied in 2003 when he testified that he has never knowingly taken steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.
Bonds, 43, is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 7 after a lengthy and determined investigation onlookers have called everything from "fair" and "overdue" to a "straight-up racist witch hunt."
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If found guilty on all five charges, baseball’s most outstanding record-holder could go to jail for up to 30 years and end up coughing up about half a million dollars in fines. Bonds, a slugger who last played for the San Francisco Giants, ended last season with a 762 record, seven homers more than legend Hank Aaron, “Evidence was obtained including positive tests for the presence of anabolic steroids," the grand jury's statement charged.
But Bond’s lawyers remain upbeat and confident even as the feds turn up the heat. “Barry is going to defend himself to the hilt,” said Laura Enos, one of Bonds attorneys, in a telephone interview today. She said her client has never tested positive for steroids and his defense will accuse government agents instead of giving false statements.
"This is going to be a very, very spirited defense,'' she assured. Admired as much as he has disliked, supporters and Critics from CNN to ESPN, have begun to weigh in on the case. Even the White House is commenting. Bush 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. But clearly this is a sad day for baseball."
Major League Baseball has declined comment but Commissioner Bud Selig may decide to take action against Bond, which could include stripping him of his record and banning him from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Do you think Bonds has been treated fairly? Do you believe he took steroids? Hit “Discuss Now” to the right to talk about it.
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