[Big sigh.] Three years after Barry Bonds was convicted of obstructing justice in the 2003 steroids-distribution case in which he was originally charged, the retired player has gone back to the 9th Circuit to have them rehear the case. And in a brief filed today, the court has, amazingly, agreed.
As the Oakland Tribune and others report, Bonds seems to be intent on erasing the felony conviction that tarnished his career and has kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
Back in 2011, when we originally thought this was over, Bonds served his sentence of 30 days of house arrest and 250 hours of community service after a federal jury felt he had been evasive in one of his answers about steroid use in particular.
As the Tribune recalls:
The jury specifically convicted Bonds for a rambling answer to a question about whether his former personal trainer, Greg Anderson, had ever supplied or injected him with steroids. The answer included musings about being a "celebrity child with a famous father" [ex baseball player Bobby Bonds] and other remarks that jurors said later were meant to evade questions about his steroid use and relationship with Anderson, who refused to testify before either the grand jury or later in trial.
Bonds' legal team argued that the testimony was too broad to amount to a specific crime under obstruction laws, which is expected to be the heart of the appeal set to be reheard by the 9th Circuit.
The Appeals Court will now hear the case, again, with an 11-judge panel, probably in September.
Bonds was a San Francisco Giants outfielder before retiring in 2007, and he remains baseball's all-time home run leader, but his indictment in the 2003 case against his trainer, Greg Anderson, and the the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), has meant that his name is now synonymous with doping and with the death of honest American baseball.