Barry Bonds arrives for arraignment

Dec 7, 2007 - 5:10 PM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Barry Bonds was greeted by a media frenzy upon arriving at a federal court Friday morning prior to his arraignment on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

Baseball's all-time home run king, Bonds entered the courthouse with his wife, Liz, and waived to a large crowd of reporters and onlookers.

Bonds is expected to plead not guilty to all the charges. It marks his first court appearance since he was indicted on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction by federal prosecutors on November 15.

After entering his plea, Bonds likely will be handed over to U.S. Marshals, who will conduct the booking procedures.

Each of the perjury charges carries a jail sentence of up to five years, while the obstruction charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The charges stem from a four-year investigation into whether the former San Francisco Giants slugger lied under oath to a grand jury investigating a performance-enhancing drug ring centered at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative - known as BALCO.

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 10-page indictment said.

The indictment handed down also cites 19 occasions in which Bonds allegedly lied under oath.

Five men involved in the ring, including BALCO founder Victor Conte, Bonds' personal trainer Greg Anderson and track coach Remi Korchemy have pleaded guilty to drug charges.

The indictment constituted a devastating end to what had been a magical year for Bonds, who passed Hank Aaron to become baseball's all-time home run leader on August 7.

When Bonds was indicted, the Giants, the players' union and even the White House called it a sad day for baseball.

According to the indictment, Bonds allegedly lied when he claimed he did not knowingly take steroids issued to him by Anderson, who was sentenced to prison for contempt of court on refusing to testify against Bonds.

Anderson was released from prison hours after the indictment was handed down against Bonds.

A seven-time National League MVP, Bonds is the most central figure linked with grand jury investigations launched in 2002 against BALCO. The probe also has ensnared track star Marion Jones, who pleaded guilty in October to lying to federal investigators about using steroids and faces up to six months in prison.

Allegations and speculation of steroid use have followed Bonds for the last five years, questioning the legitimacy of the all-time records he currently owns. He never has been identified by Major League Baseball as testing positive for steroids.

Bonds has 762 career homers, seven more than Aaron, and is currently a free agent. In 2001, he set the single-season record with 73 homers.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!