Barry Bonds indictment revised by prosecutors
Barry Bonds, baseball's home run king, is now charged with 14 counts of lying and one count of obstruction in a revised indictment filed Tuesday.
Bonds, a 43-year-old unsigned free agent, was indicted last Nov. 15 by a San Francisco grand jury on four charges of perjury and one charge of obstruction of justice.
But on Feb. 29, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered federal prosecutors to rework the indictment to reflect one charge for each falsehood that Bonds is alleged to have made.
The revised indictment, which contains no new accusations, is the culmination of a four-year federal investigation into whether he lied under oath to a grand jury examining steroid use among elite and pro athletes.
"It is exactly the same," Golden Gate University law professor Peter Keane told the Associated Press.
"It is two ways of saying it is lying. There is really no substantial difference between what he was charged with then and what he is charged with now."
If convicted, Bonds faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
"Barry Bonds is innocent," said Allen Ruby, the slugger's lead attorney.
Bonds testified in 2003 during the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case that he never knowingly used steroids.
BALCO was a nutritional supplements lab, based in San Francisco, charged with illegal steroid distribution to elite athletes.
Alleged to have received steroids were Bonds, Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees, former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski and sprinters Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones.
BALCO president Victor Conte, vice-president James Valente and Greg Anderson, Bonds's former personal trainer, were convicted of operating an illegal steroid distribution ring.
Also convicted were Patrick Arnold, a rogue chemist, and track coach Remi Korchemny.
Bonds, an outfielder for the San Francisco Giants at the time, testified in 2003 that Anderson provided him with flaxseed oil and arthritic balm, not steroids.
When Anderson refused to testify whether Bonds committed perjury, he was charged with contempt and jailed Aug. 28, 2006, but a federal judge later ordered him released from prison.
Suspected of steroid use
Bonds has been dogged by allegations of steroid use for years, but has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The New York Daily News reported last Jan. 10 that Bonds failed an amphetamines test in 2006.
In March 2006, Bonds filed a lawsuit against two San Francisco Chronicle reporters who published Game of Shadows, a book alleging that he used steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, but he dropped the suit three months later.
And Kimberly Bell, Bonds's ex-mistress, testified before a grand jury that Bonds told her of his steroid use in 2000.
Bonds is one of baseball's most prolific sluggers, surpassing Mark McGwire's record for homers in a single season with 73 in 2001, and breaking Henry Aaron's career mark of 755 homers last Aug. 7.
Bonds hit .298 with 762 home runs, 1,996 runs batted in, 2,227 runs scored and 514 stolen bases in 2,986 games over 22 MLB seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Giants.
He owns the major-league record of 2,558 career walks and an unprecedented seven National League Most Valuable Player Awards.
With files from the Associated Press