Barry Bonds Veridict a Major Victory for Baseball Purist

Orly Rios Jr.Analyst IIApril 13, 2011

Former baseball player Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice regarding his 2003 Grand Jury testimony.
Former baseball player Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice regarding his 2003 Grand Jury testimony.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Baseball purist around the world can rejoice a bit today when a jury convicted Barry Bonds on obstruction of justice regarding his grand jury testimony back in 2003.

Bonds over the years, thanks in large part to his childhood friend and trainer, Greg Anderson, has been able to keep doping calenders, urine specimens and damaging testimony out of the hands of a jury.

Originally charged with four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction, Bonds in May 2008 was charged with an addition 10 counts of perjury.

Lack of testimony from Anderson forced the Government to drop charges, and even dropped an addition perjury charge one day before jury deliberation began.

Reaction to the verdict has been mixed, some arguing that the United States Government wasted over $9 million to try a steroid case while others believe that Bonds was merely the victim of a witch hunt.

Neither point of view is correct.

First of all, the U.S. Government didn't try Barry Bonds for using steroids, but rather for lying about using steroids to a federal grand jury. The testimony of Greg Anderson not only would have saved time and money for the government, but also would have assured what most people already believe, that Bonds used steroids.

Second, the perjury case against Barry Bonds wasn't a witch hunt but rather, a purely justified case against a person who lied to federal agents and authorities about his use of steroids.

Other athletes such as former track star Marion Jones, cyclist Tammy Thomas and former football star Dana Stubblefield have been convicted or plead guilty to perjury or lying regarding the BALCO case, which is how Barry Bonds ended up here in the first place.

In 2003, an investigation began into the Bay Area Laboratories Co-Operative (BALCO) regarding the use and distribution of steroid use.

The Food and Drug Administration, IRS, and United States Anti-Doping Agency along with local authorities raided BALCO offices in the fall of 2003, and in their seizure, obtained the names, doping records and specimens of several athletes, including Barry Bonds.

In December 2003, Bonds went before a grand jury regarding the BALCO raid four months earlier, and it was there where Bonds obstructed justice.

The obstruction of justice guilty verdict came in spite of the non-testimony of Greg Anderson, Bond's ex-trainer.

Federal authorities had doping calendars as well as payment records from Bonds to Anderson, however with Anderson unwilling to testify, the authenticity of the documents, doping calenders and urine samples couldn't be verified.

In the end, Bonds didn't get away as some may argue, Bonds was convicted of lying and interfering with a grand jury.

In the meantime, Bonds did hold off of perjury charges entirely because of Greg Anderson who Bonds argues unknowingly gave him steroids.

The question begs to be asked, if what Bonds claims is true, that he was duped by his trainer, then why didn't Barry Bonds ever file a lawsuit against Anderson for ruining his career and reputation?

Nine years after appearing before a federal grand jury, Barry Bonds is no longer the Home Run King, but a convicted felon, and for baseball purist, the verdict was just the icing on the cake to what they knew all along, Barry Bonds cheated the game of baseball and in the end, lost.  

The next question will be, what if anything would Major League Baseball do regarding the conviction.