The long expected indictment of baseball slugger Barry Bonds has come down as the four year investigation into his shady dealings with steroid supplier Victor Conte and his sports supplement company BALCO resulted in charges that Bonds lied to a grand jury and obstructed justice:
“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 read.
In August, the 43-year-old Bonds passed Hank Aaron to become baseball’s career home run leader. Late in the season, the San Francisco Giants told the seven-time National League MVP they didn’t want him back next year. He is currently a free agent.
While Bonds was chasing Aaron, the grand jury was working behind closed doors to complete the long-rumored indictment.
“I’m surprised,” said John Burris, one of Bonds’ attorneys, “but there’s been an effort to get Barry for a long time. “I’m curious what evidence they have now they didn’t have before.”
The indictment charged Bonds with lying when he said that he didn’t knowingly take steroids given to him by his personal trainer, Greg Anderson. He also denied taking steroids at anytime in 2001 when he was pursuing the season home-run record.
Bonds told the grand jury that he thought his friend and personal trainer Greg Anderson was injecting him with vitamins, not steroids. His ex-girlfriend, who will almost certainly be a key witness against him at any trial, told the grand jury that Bonds knew exactly what was in the injections, even joking about how much muscle the steroids and human growth hormone regimen that BALCO was supervising at the time put on his physique.
There were other incredible lies told by Bonds, according to leaked grand jury testimony. He said that be believed one of the anabolics he was taking – “The Clear” – which was administered by placing a small amount underneath the tongue, was actually “flaxseed oil.” And he testified he thought his trainer was applying an arthritis treatment when actually, the creme Anderson was rubbing into Bonds’ arms contained a potent and unregulated anabolic steroid.
As I made clear in my article back in August for PJ Media, today’s indictment was a foregone conclusion:
The Feds have him cold. Not only grand jury testimony from a dozen people connected Bonds directly to steroid use, but Victor Conteâ€”owner of the sports â€œsupplementâ€ company BALCOâ€”produced voluminous records tracking Bonds steroid use over several years. The ledgers and calendars Conte gave the Feds show exactly what steroids Bonds took, his levels of testosterone from month to month, and other evidence that left absolutely no doubt that Bonds used banned substances to enhance his performance.
And so another superstar athlete goes on trial. I’m dead sure we can expect another media circus, another wall-to-wall cable free for all. The case will be analyzed ad infinitum until we and the press are so sick of it that the inevitable “Whither the Press” stories begin to come out and the media wrings its hands and bemoans its inability to resist the siren call of scandal. They will blame us, the viewer, for their dilemma, taking us to task for our compulsion to watch these train wrecks masquerading as trials, whining that they are only giving the people what they want and it’s not their fault if the American people are obsessed with celebrity.
Meanwhile, the world becomes an even more dangerous place and real news is confined to 5 minute updates at the top and bottom of the hour. And 24 hour news channels can’t find the time to outline what is at stake in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, or any of the half dozen other vital areas of the world that will lose out to Barry Bonds and his soap opera trial for lying to the grand jury that he cheated while playing a kid’s game.
Just thought a little perspective might be in order before the circus begins…