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Barry Bonds' Perjury Trial Begins

Home run king could get 5 years if convicted of lying to grand jury
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2011 3:09 AM CDT
Barry Bonds Starts Trial in Doping Case
Barry Bonds, center, leaves a federal courthouse in San Francisco, Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Bonds pleaded not guilty to perjury charges; the plea was a legal technicality made necessary when prosecutors revised the charges for the third time since the initial indictment was unsealed in November 2007.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(Newser) – Home-run king Barry Bonds goes on trial today in San Francisco on charges that he lied to a federal grand jury investigating doping in professional sports. The former San Francisco Giants star could get five years or more in federal prison if convicted of the charges, reports the Wall Street Journal. Prosecutors will have to prove Bonds intentionally took steroids to make their case since Bonds testified that he never knowingly took steroids or accepted human growth hormone from a personal trainer. Bonds has been accused of extensively using a steroid made by the Balco company that's known as "The Clear," because it couldn't be detected in blood tests.

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The head of the lab pleaded guilty to distributing steroids, and Olympic gold medal track stars Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones admitting taking Balco steroids. The accusations against Bonds have raised doubts that his record 762 home runs were legitimately earned. His former girlfriend is expected to testify about radical changes the star slugger's body experienced, presumably after he started steroids, and professional athletes will likely testify about steroid use in sports. The case against Bonds could be tough because the man who could put the slugger behind bars—long time friend and trainer Greg Anderson—opted to accept a prison sentence rather than testify against his former employer. (Read more Barry Bonds stories.)

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