Crime | Government | Medical marijuana | Education | Prop 8 | Traffic | Westside


Southern California -- this just in

« Previous | L.A. NOW Home | Next »

Barry Bonds convicted of obstruction of justice in performance-enhancing-drugs case

Barry Bonds

After a government prosecution that lasted nearly seven years, a federal jury Wednesday convicted home-run king Barry Bonds on one charge of obstruction of justice for impeding a grand jury investigation into illegal steroid distribution.

The judge in the case declared a mistrial on three remaining counts.

Bonds was charged with four federal felony counts for denying under oath to a grand jury in 2003 that he had knowingly used steroids or human growth hormones and for maintaining that his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, had never injected him.

The probe that ensnared Bonds began with an investigation of a Bay Area laboratory that was selling illegal performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes, and expanded to include athletes who lied to investigators. Bonds, holder of major-league baseball's hallowed record for most home runs, was the probe's highest-profile quarry.

Prosecutors said Bonds lied repeatedly to a grand jury to protect his reputation. Defense attorneys charged the government had a vendetta against Bonds and used lying witnesses to try to convict him.

Authorities first became interested in Bonds in the early 2000s after learning that the San Francisco Giants superstar had appeared in an advertisement for the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which was authorities said was selling designer steroids and other drugs to professional athletes.

Bonds was one of 30 athletes summoned before the grand jury that was investigating the lab. Although given immunity in connection with illegal drug use, Bonds insisted that his trainer told him the two steroids he was taking were flaxseed oil and arthritis cream.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Bonds tested positive for a steroid and a fertility drug in a urine sample taken several months before his grand jury evidence. They also gave the jury a surreptitious recording of Anderson discussing how he injected steroids in response to a question about Bonds.

Anderson refused to testify in the trial and was jailed for its duration. He has spent nearly two years behind bars, mostly because he would not cooperate with the investigation of Bonds.

Jurors heard three key prosecution witnesses: Steve Hoskins, a childhood friend who was close to Bonds for 10 years until the two had a falling-out in early 2003; Kimberly Bell, Bonds' girlfriend of nine years; and Kathy Hoskins, Steve's younger sister, who said she was packing Bonds' clothes for a road trip when she saw Anderson inject the ballplayer.

Prosecutors also presented four former major-league players who testified that Anderson supplied them with drugs that they said they knew were designed to boost performance and escape detection.

Each count against Bonds carried a possible maximum sentence of 10 years, but federal sentencing guidelines recommend 15 to 21 months in prison for a conviction.


Bonds' personal trainer ordered released from jail

Bonds' lawyer says slugger was 'set up' by prosecutors

Bonds lied about steroid use to protect his athletic exploits, prosecutor says

-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco

Photo: Barry Bonds enters federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday. Credit: Monica M. Davey / EPA

Post a comment
If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate.
Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Comments (77)

Switch the photo from one rotten pro to another. Why even ever change the story?


The next move is for Selig to erase his records from baseball & block him from the HOF.

This was a total waste of tax payers money. Folks have long since made up there own minds about Bonds, one way or another......for the government to continue this long dragged out boring process to reach this simple ending was ludicrous!

This was a total waste of tax payers money. Folks have long since made up there own minds about Bonds, one way or another......for the government to continue this long dragged out boring process to reach this simple ending was ludicrous!

Thank you federal prosecutors. A 7-year investigation (& how many millions) well worth it. I can walk outside my house at night now.

I know people are going to come on here and say they wasted too much time and money on this case, but the reality is that lying to a grand jury just cannot do unpunished. It would destroy our legal system if people felt they could commit purjury and not be prosecuted because they had the financial means to drag the proceedings out for years.

Glad it's over. Now QUIT WASTING our tax dollars.

He will get probation and community service.


He's been a jerk to his fellow players and known as a selfish person no one wants to play with him. It's not a race issue because the entire SF ball club openly said no one like him.

This idiot will probably get away with nothing but a slap on the wrist.

The judge should really want to make an example of the prosecution for wasting our tax dollars on this and let him go scott free. Don't waste our money on athletes using/lying about using steriods.

Another craptastic overeach of our system of nanny laws.

What a waste of tax payers money.

Good! You dont get a bigger head and bigger feet (3 sizes!) naturally without steroids-this liar deserved to go down! *

What a shame the owner of the Lab .. Does 4 months

A guy who shades the truth about the Lab faces 40 years??

Prosecutors to recommend 15 months ???

Why don't "They" talk to all the "mobsters and so forth" and charge them with Perjury????

I hope they re-try him on the 3 counts. I hope he rots in prison.

Are we safer or better off for this result?

What a waste of time and money. The worst part is that the true costs of this prosecutor's personal vendetta will only grow exponentially if Bonds is incarcerated. Not to mention appellate defense costs, and a potential retrial on the three remaining counts.

This should have ended a long time ago. The only person with any personal integrity coming out of this mess is Greg Anderson - whatever one thinks of the surrounding circumstances, he faced the consequences for doing what he personally thought was right.

Great use of our tax money!!!!

What about Mcgwire? Palmero? Clemens?....What a shame.....Guess they are going to make an example out of Bonds!

Why Are we wasting money on this. Tell me that not one of our so called Politicians have not lied once during there terms.....Give me a break...why does our government need to stick there nose in sports

Well, maybe when Bonds' testicles grow out again, he'll take responsibility for his cowardice and stupidity. In the meantime, say goodbye to the Hall of Fame, convicted felon and eternal asterisk.

I'd be willing to bet that the trainer started to tell him what it was ,and he said "tell him that it isn't drugs" so that he wouldn't have to lie about it. Didn't do much good did it "Mr. Smarty Pants"

I think it's about time that the government got a little mud thrown in there face! as the this article says it all it was just a vendetta against Bonds by the government as Bonds was not the only one doing it and the government lies to us all everyday so let throw them all in jail too.

Does anyone know the jury makeup according to race? Specifically, regarding the issue of not guilty and guilty which race supported which sides? I would also like to hear what was eventually discussed in the juror room regarding why they were deadlocked.



About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

California Public Records »

Help keep government open and honest — share your documents.

In Case You Missed It...


More L.A. Coverage

The best in investigative and insightful reporting.
See a sample | Sign up

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: