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Barry Bonds

Bonds Faces Revised Perjury Charges

May 14, 2008 12:43 PM
by Denis Cummings
Barry Bonds is charged with perjury and obstructing justice, superseding an almost identical indictment from November that was ruled to be too vague.

30-Second Summary

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The charges stem from grand jury testimony in 2003, in which Bonds repeatedly denied that he had knowingly used steroids, human growth hormone or other performance-enhancing drugs received from personal trainer Greg Anderson.

After four years of investigation, prosecutors felt they had gathered enough evidence to prove that these denials were lies and charged Bonds with four counts of perjury in November 2007. Bonds’s lawyers objected to the indictment, arguing that there were as many as five years on each count. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the prosecution to break up the counts.

The new indictment, handed down May 13, includes 14 perjury charges and one obstruction charge. “It’s exactly the same,” says law professor Peter Keane. “There’s really no substantial difference between what he was charged with then and what he is charged with now.”

The indictment serves as a reminder of why Bonds, baseball’s all-time and single-season home run king, has not received a contract offer this season.

Teams have been unwilling to sign Bonds because of the off-field hassles he would cause. At Bonds’s request, the Players Association is investigating possible collusion among the owners to keep him out of the game, but he has likely played his last Major League game.

Bonds is not the only alleged steroid-user to face perjury charges. BALCO drug user Marion Jones was recently found guilty of perjury and given a six-month prison sentence, and Roger Clemens may be facing similar charges following a congressional hearing.

Headline Link: Prosecutors break up perjury counts

Background: Bonds’s legal troubles

Related Topics: Athletes, PEDs and perjury

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