Bonds Charged with Perjury; Grand-Jury Statements in '03 at Issue

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Zuckerman, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Home-run king Barry Bonds was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury, charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for lying when he said under oath that he had not knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.

The federal indictment, unsealed yesterday by the U.S. Attorney's Office, says the former San Francisco Giants outfielder lied during his December 2003 appearance before the grand jury and carries a maximum combined sentence of 30 years in prison.

He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Dec. 7.

"During the criminal investigation, evidence was obtained including positive tests for the presence of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances for Bonds and other athletes," the indictment says.

Bonds' representatives were caught off guard by the announcement and questioned why the indictment was handed up now, four years after the initial grand jury appearance.

"However, it goes without saying that we look forward to rebutting these unsupported charges in court," Mike Rains, Bonds' defense attorney, told the Associated Press.

Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron's career record Aug. 7 with a solo home run off Washington Nationals left-hander Mike Bacsik, repeatedly has denied ever knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs and never has been identified by Major League Baseball for testing positive for steroids.

However, in leaked testimony obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, Bonds told the grand jury in 2003 that he took two substances called "the cream" and "the clear" given to him by personal trainer and friend Greg Anderson to help him recover from injuries.

Prosecutors tried to get Mr. Anderson to testify, but he refused and spent the past year in federal prison. It was revealed last night, however, that a federal judge has ordered Mr. Anderson to be released, fueling speculation that the trainer finally decided to talk and provided the U.S. attorney enough evidence to complete the Bonds indictment.

Mr. Anderson's attorney insisted that his client didn't cooperate with the grand jury. …