Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - Page 19 News List

US home run king Bonds spared trial as charges dropped

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

US baseball home run king Barry Bonds will not face a new trial as federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced they have dropped three perjury charges against the retired superstar slugger.

The US Attorney’s office in San Francisco dropped perjury charges against Bonds that jurors were unable to render a verdict upon in April deliberations.

The move came five days after US District Judge Susan Illston rejected a bid by Bonds to set aside his April conviction on obstruction of justice charges, for which he will be sentenced on Dec. 16.

Bonds, 47, will not face a new trial on charges that he lied to a 2003 grand jury investigating the BALCO steroid scandal when he denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs and being injected by anyone other than doctors.

Greg Anderson, the former personal trainer for Bonds, was among those convicted in the BALCO steroid scandal.

In April, a jury of eight women and four men found that Bonds had misled the grand jury with an evasive, often-rambling answer to a question about injectable drugs.

However, the conviction did not address potential use of steroids or human growth hormones by Bonds and the dropping of perjury charges likely closes the case on a sordid chapter of Major League Baseball history.

Former San Francisco Giants outfielder Bonds was jeered at ballparks across the US as he approached the all-time home run record of Hank Aaron, taunted as a dope cheat after reports surfaced of his links to BALCO.

Bonds broke Aaron’s Major League Baseball career home run record with his 756th homer on Aug. 7, 2007, and went on to finish with 762 for his career. Bonds also owns the one-season homer mark with 73 in 2001.

The tale might not be over even after Bonds is sentenced. He is expected to appeal his obstruction conviction to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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