On March 21, case number 3:07-cr-00732, a.k.a United States versus Barry Bonds, a.k.a. the "Barry Bonds Perjury Trial (feel free to substitute steroids, performance-enhancing drugs, etc in for perjury) is scheduled to begin before Judge Susan Illston in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. There have been a variety of motions and legal maneuverings to date, but March 21 is when the proverbial rubber should hit the road. To make a very long story short, Barry Bonds was indicted for perjury due to previous grand jury testimony that involved denials of ever knowingly using steroids or other performance-enhancing substances.
Although this might not quite compare to the O.J. Simpson "Trial of the Century," it's arguably the biggest trial of the new century thus far. Barry Bonds became the biggest player in Major League Baseball, really becoming larger than life as he broke Mark McGwire's single-season home run record, and followed that up by passing Hank Aaron for the all-time home run record. At that point Bonds received a lot of grief for being a bit of a cantankerous individual who thought he was bigger than the team. However, all that took a turn for the worse as he was implicated in the on-going steroid sage that has enveloped Major League Baseball over the last decade.
The steroid controversy really picked up steam during the 2003 BALCO case that implicated a variety of professional athletes in the use of various steroids and designer performance enhancing drugs. A grand jury was convened and Barry Bonds testified about his involvement with BALCO. Bonds acknowledged using a clear substance and a cream but stated that he was under the impression they were a flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis. This testimony is the basis for the current perjury trial.
Some folks are probably wondering why it has taken over seven years to go to trial on these comments. That's a fairly complicated issue as the investigation has faced many obstacles. One of the most prominent reasons for the delays has been the refusal to testify by Greg Anderson, Bonds' former personal trainer. Anderson was at the center of the steroid investigation for his involvement with Bonds. He has refused to testify and subsequently served multiple prison sentences for contempt of court.
The question remains whether the federal government will be able to prove anything at this late stage. Much of the documented evidence has been ruled inadmissible due to hearsay rules. At this point, the entire case has turned into a bit of a legal circus and I would be a bit surprised if Bonds is found guilty whenever this whole thing ends. Either way, we'll be here leading up to and through the conclusion of the trial providing any and all updates.