L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Barry Bonds convicted of obstruction of justice in performance-enhancing-drugs case

Barry Bonds

After a government prosecution that lasted nearly seven years, a federal jury Wednesday convicted home-run king Barry Bonds on one charge of obstruction of justice for impeding a grand jury investigation into illegal steroid distribution.

The judge in the case declared a mistrial on three remaining counts.

Bonds was charged with four federal felony counts for denying under oath to a grand jury in 2003 that he had knowingly used steroids or human growth hormones and for maintaining that his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, had never injected him.

The probe that ensnared Bonds began with an investigation of a Bay Area laboratory that was selling illegal performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes, and expanded to include athletes who lied to investigators. Bonds, holder of major-league baseball's hallowed record for most home runs, was the probe's highest-profile quarry.

Prosecutors said Bonds lied repeatedly to a grand jury to protect his reputation. Defense attorneys charged the government had a vendetta against Bonds and used lying witnesses to try to convict him.

Authorities first became interested in Bonds in the early 2000s after learning that the San Francisco Giants superstar had appeared in an advertisement for the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which was authorities said was selling designer steroids and other drugs to professional athletes.

Bonds was one of 30 athletes summoned before the grand jury that was investigating the lab. Although given immunity in connection with illegal drug use, Bonds insisted that his trainer told him the two steroids he was taking were flaxseed oil and arthritis cream.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Bonds tested positive for a steroid and a fertility drug in a urine sample taken several months before his grand jury evidence. They also gave the jury a surreptitious recording of Anderson discussing how he injected steroids in response to a question about Bonds.

Anderson refused to testify in the trial and was jailed for its duration. He has spent nearly two years behind bars, mostly because he would not cooperate with the investigation of Bonds.

Jurors heard three key prosecution witnesses: Steve Hoskins, a childhood friend who was close to Bonds for 10 years until the two had a falling-out in early 2003; Kimberly Bell, Bonds' girlfriend of nine years; and Kathy Hoskins, Steve's younger sister, who said she was packing Bonds' clothes for a road trip when she saw Anderson inject the ballplayer.

Prosecutors also presented four former major-league players who testified that Anderson supplied them with drugs that they said they knew were designed to boost performance and escape detection.

Each count against Bonds carried a possible maximum sentence of 10 years, but federal sentencing guidelines recommend 15 to 21 months in prison for a conviction.

RELATED:

Bonds' personal trainer ordered released from jail

Bonds' lawyer says slugger was 'set up' by prosecutors

Bonds lied about steroid use to protect his athletic exploits, prosecutor says

-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco

Photo: Barry Bonds enters federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday. Credit: Monica M. Davey / EPA

 
Comments () | Archives (77)

Good, let this be a lesson to the rich and powerful, you are not immune. This should be applied more often to them rich folks who buy there way out of problems. Like the stupid judge fixing tickets for people... all should be held accountable for their mis-steps!

Who cares? What a waste of time. There are more things wrong with the world than a dumb baseball player using steroids.

High crimes committed by high profile people are never what gets them in the end, it's lying about it that does. If Baryy would have come clean in the first place, we could all have been spared by the fanfare and waste of tax payer money.

OK, as with Marian Jones before and now with Barry Bonds, the black persons have been convicted and made to pay for their mistakes. What about Mr. White athlete? What about Mark Mcgwire? When does he get the humiliation that Marian Jones got?

Like RIDECHAP he doesn't care about anything.

The government spent millions and seven years for a case against Mr. Bonds only to get a single conviction. Their star witnesses were a disgruntle childhood friend and and a greedy ex-girlfriend (apparently your enemies certainly do not have any ax to grind and are very credible as these prosecutors will have you believe). The government will declear victory and tell us they have accomplished their goal of putting a bad guy in jail. What a joke, the government complains they are broke but can spend uptim dollars persecuting a guy. The prosecutors actions seems indefensible, inexcusable and totally unbecoming. I guess they have to do this to perpertuate themselves in office and stay employed.

Great. Now can we try MLB?

Where's the victim?????

Wow! A liberal newspaper has an African American male on the front page. Oh my bad. It is a negative story.

This guy, Bonds had all the breaks growing up! He had a great Dad, Bobby, fantastic uncle, Willie Mays and then, turns out to be a BIG juiced-up Jerk! He is a lying juicer that is a disgrace to the Bonds family and to Baseball. No hall of fame for you, Mr. Bum!

The next move is for Selig to erase his records from baseball & block him from the HOF.
=====================================================
This theme runs through so many of these posts. However; I find it disturbing that no one mentions Mark McGuire or the dozen other players that used steroids as did Bonds. There hasn't been any calls to remove their records from the history books. McGuire and the others were allowed to continue in baseball in some fashion while Bonds was run out of town on a rail. Pete Rose made a mistake as a coach. Should that diminish "Charlie Hustles" achievements as a player. I say erase their history beginning from the time they screwed up. Honoring their prior playing days would pay homage to the great game of baseball. PETE ROSE FOR H.O.F.!!!!

OK. Now take away his batting titles, as well as Magwire's and Sosa's, and give the homerun title back to Roger Maris, the last clean HR hitter in MLB.

Now that justice has been restored to our great nation the Federal Government can get back to the business of looting the public to further enrich the wealthy and murdering women and children in foreign lands.

once again a Black dude is the victim of a high-tech lynching and will take the fall for Selig and others that detest Bonds for personality reasons. If he'd just gone all 'Step 'n' Fechit' like Sosa and others, he'd probably be given a pass like the others. A truly bizzare, 7 year witch hunt, complete with lurid sexual details, started by 2 guys from Frisco that wanted to preserve 'the integrity of the game' results in the desired outcome: the tainting of Bonds' records and accomplishments. Character assassination is one of the final arrows left in America's racist quiver. As Charlie Sheen smokes crack to power a tour bus on a nationwide megalomaniac tour, to cheers from all sides, Bonds is held up as the big drug addict and bad influence. Personally, I couldn't care less if any of them were taking steroids. The games were exciting, attendance was up after the strike, and baseball was fun to watch and relevant again. They should all be allowed to take whatever they want.

Major League Baseball is multi-billion dollar business. As big as many large corporations. Bonds perpetrated a fraud on MLB customers/fans, and then he lied about it to a Grand Jury while trying to conceal that fraud. Prosecuting him was totally justified, by almost any measure. Just because you don't think baseball is important doesn't mean that crimes like this should go unpunished. If nothing else, this prosecution may serve to clean up baseball and other sports where athletes cheat in order to break records and enrich themselves with phony exploits on the field.

All Wall Street gangsters & the Republican and Democratic politicians they own walk free but this rich athlete gets convicted.

While reading this story, at first I thought that trying Barry Bonds and his trainer before a jury was overreacting and unnecessary, but on second thought recognized the gravity of their offense. This is comparable to fraud. Bonds cheated the Giants organization; they paid megabucks for a superstar, but he was a drug-pumped fake. He cheated other players out of the top spot, and cheated baseball fans who paid to see a home run king. Then he lied about it under oath. Bonds probably gave the trainer an extra big cut of his earnings for injecting him; they had a scheme going. However, why spend state funds imprisoning them if they're not violent. Take away Bonds' fake record and give him a huge fine, the trainer a lesser fine, plus community service and an ethics course for both. Jail them only if they refuse to comply with court orders.

Separation of Sport and State. This should have never happened. Sports should keep sports IN sports.

Are we going to reverse the outcome of every game Gagne saved? Every game where Manny had the game-winning hit?

Really? Does anybody really care whether or not Bonds, or anybody else, took steroids? When did the game develop this, never before seen, integrity, that everybody's so concerned about? Just shows that hypocrisy and racism are still very big deals in America. This case was hardly abt lying, or I don't think there would have been 7 years, millions of $$$, and precious time invested into it. It's abt character assassination, pure and simple. Feds and MLB had no case so they made up one.

Serious waste of taxpayer money and time. Apparent the two main reasons this was done was 1) Barry Bonds is a total douche and 2)Congressional arrogance.

But I also agree with many of the posters today. i don't think they would have come after Bonds as hard as they did had he been white.

JACK - congratulations on playing the race card. Yeah sure, his prosecution was because he's black, not because he commited the crime of perjury on numerous occasions.
It's ironic you cite Charlie Sheen, albeit ridiculously. One of the 2HM episodes is entitled "Baseball was Better with Steroids", in which Charlie Harper states "Fans would pay to watch meat-covered robots hit the ball 600 feet." Apparently you agree, so perhaps Monster Truck races are more to your liking.

The State needs to stop micromanaging its citizens' lives.

Dear MLB and Baseball Hall of Fame:
Now that this piece of crap liar is convicted, you can strike all of his records from 2000 to retirement (2008) and forget about voting him in the Hall of Fame.

He deserves at least six months in jail and 1 million in fines.

Who cares if Bond's or any other athlete has taken steroids? Why should someone have to go through federal prosecution for being an entertainer? Who's next? Dwight Howard? Arnold Schwarzenegger? Sylvester Stallone? The Rock? Brad Pitt? Angela Bassett? The argument about Bond's feet or head getting bigger is bogus. Have you been to a 10 or 20 year high school reunion? You will need several sets of hands to count the number of men and women whose heads, feet, and bodies have doubled in size since they were 18 years old. Even tiger woods will look huge when he is bald and 45-50 years old.

 
« | 1 2 3 4 | »

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: