Barry Bonds was not confused when asked if he used human growth hormone or injected steroids into his body, prosecutors said Wednesday in a court filing in the former Giants slugger’s federal perjury case.
Federal prosecutors urged Judge Susan Illston in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Wednesday to deny a defense motion to dismiss 10 of the 14 counts of perjury.
A May indictment alleges the major-league career home run leader lied during his 2003 grand jury testimony when he denied ever knowingly taking steroids or performance-enhancing drugs.
The defense argued that most of the perjury charges should be dropped because prosecutors asked ambiguous questions.
For instance, Bonds argues that the question, “In the weeks and months leading up to November 2000, were you taking steroids?” is ambiguous because of an ill-defined time element. He answered no.
But prosecutors contend that the questions were clear and would be interpreted the same by any reasonable person.
“Bonds’ contrary contention ignores the plain language of the prosecutor’s questions, the context in which they were asked and Bonds’ failure to express any confusion when answering them,” the prosecution said.
Bonds’ defense team also accused prosecutors of pestering the former Giants slugger with the same question repeatedly and then used his answers to claim he committed perjury. But prosecutors defended their questioning as a way “to sharpen the inquiry” against Bonds.
As far as Bonds’ “lack of confusion … Bonds understood the questions perfectly well and chose his answers carefully, if falsely,” the prosecution contended.
Last month, his six defense lawyers asked the judge to dismiss 10 of the 15 charges. Illston will consider the request at an Oct. 24 hearing.
Federal prosecutors also say they will prove personal trainer Greg Anderson supplied Barry Bonds with the steroids that led to a positive test in November 2000, the offseason before the slugger broke the major-league record by smacking 73 home runs.
In a court filing Wednesday, prosecutors say they have two documents showing Bonds tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2000 and that Anderson supplied the drugs.
Bonds, 44, has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of making false declarations to a grand jury and one count of obstruction of justice.
Bonds’ trial is scheduled to begin March 2.
Wire reports contributed to this report.
By the numbers
Key statistics in former Giants slugger Barry Bonds’ playing career:
73: Home runs hit in 2001, a single-season major-league record
49: Previous season high for home runs (2000)
70: Home runs by Mark McGwire in 1998, the previous single-season record
61: Home runs by Roger Maris in 1961, the record broken by McGwire
762: Career home runs for Bonds, a major-league record
755: Career home runs for Hank Aaron, the previous record-holder
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
» Dec. 4, 2003: Barry Bonds testifies to a federal grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by personal trainer Greg Anderson, but that he didn’t know they were steroids, according to grand jury transcripts.
» Feb. 12, 2004: Anderson, track coach Remi Korchemny, BALCO President Victor Conte and BALCO Vice President James Valente are charged in a 42-count federal indictment with running a steroid-distribution ring.
» July 15, 2005: Conte and Anderson plead guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering. Valente pleads guilty to one count of distributing illegal steroids.
» Oct. 18, 2005: Conte is sentenced to four months in prison and four months’ home confinement. Anderson is sentenced to three months in prison and three months’ home confinement. Valente is sentenced to probation.
» Dec. 1, 2005: Conte begins serving prison sentence.
» March 30, 2006: Conte is released. He insists he never gave performance-enhancing drugs to Bonds.
» April 14, 2006: Sources say a federal grand jury is investigating whether Bonds committed perjury when he testified in 2003 that he never knowingly used steroids.
» July 5, 2006: Anderson is found in contempt of court and ordered back to prison after refusing to testify before the federal grand jury investigating Bonds for perjury.
» July 27, 2006: Anderson appears before a new grand jury.
» Aug. 17, 2006: Anderson again refuses to testify before a grand jury investigating Bonds.
» Aug. 28, 2006: Anderson is sent back to jail for not testifying.
» Oct. 5, 2006: A judge orders Anderson released because of a “legal snafu.”
» Nov. 20, 2006: Anderson returns to prison for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury.
» Dec. 27, 2006: An appeals court rules the names and urine samples of about 100 MLB players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs three years ago can be used by investigators.
» Feb. 20, 2007: Bonds starts spring training with a pointed challenge to prosecutors: “Let them investigate. Let them, they’ve been doing it this long.”
» Aug. 7, 2007: Bonds hits his 756th career home run to break baseball’s all-time record, which Hank Aaron held for more than three decades.
» November 2007: Bonds’ contract with the Giants expires; he becomes a free agent.
» Nov. 15, 2007: Federal prosecutors indict Bonds on perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges, accusing him of lying to a grand jury when he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs. A judge orders Greg Anderson released from prison.
» Feb. 29: Judge agrees with Bonds’ attorney that prosecutors must edit out many of the alleged lies or seek a new indictment, which could contain more charges. Judge also orders Bonds’ secret grand jury testimony to be unsealed.
» May 13: Federal prosecutors file a new indictment, charging the home run king with 14 counts of lying to a grand jury and one count of obstruction.
» June 6: Bonds pleads not guilty to the 15 counts. Court date set for March 2, 2009.
» Wednesday: In a court filing, prosecutors say they have two documents that show Bonds tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2000 and that Anderson supplied the drugs.