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Bonds found guilty on one charge

A mixed result for Barry Bonds and the feds who have been pursuing him.

Just like the whole Steroid Era: We’ll never really know.

Even the one charge that left Barry Bonds a convicted felon didn’t specify steroids.

Instead, a federal court jury found the home run king guilty of obstruction of justice Tuesday for giving an evasive answer under oath more than seven years ago. Rather than say “yes” or “no” to whether he received drugs that required a syringe, Bonds gave a rambling response to a grand jury, stating: “I became a celebrity child with a famous father.”

The decision from the eight women and four men who listened to testimony during the 12-day trial turned out to be a mixed and muddled verdict on the slugger that left more questions than answers.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston declared a mistrial on the three charges that Bonds made false statements when he told a grand jury in December 2003 that he never knowingly received steroids and human growth hormone from trainer Greg Anderson and that he allowed only doctors to inject him.

Defense lawyers will try to persuade Illston or the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to toss out the lone conviction. Federal prosecutors must decide whether it is worth the time and expense to try Bonds for a second time on the deadlocked charges.


Amber, a 19-year-old blonde woman who was the youngest juror, said the final votes were 8-4 to acquit Bonds of lying about steroids and 9-3 to acquit him on lying about HGH use. The panel voted 11-1 to convict him of getting an injection from someone other than his doctor, with one woman holding out, she said.

Jurors decided to convict Bonds on the obstruction count on Tuesday; on Wednesday they decided they could not come to unanimous decisions on the rest.

Jayson Stark wonders if this was all worth the bother, as does Allen Barra. I figure the main result from all this will be to make it easier for the anti-PED hardliners in the BBWAA to justify keeping out of the Hall of Fame anyone they think is tainted by steroids regardless of the evidence or logic of it. The less zealous will have a legitimate reason to not vote for Bonds. Maybe someday he’ll have people crusading for his inclusion as Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson now do.

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