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Appeals court upholds Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice conviction

  • Dennis Riordan, lawyer for former baseball player Barry Bonds, addresses the court during a hearing at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court in San Francisco, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Riordan urged the federal appeals court to toss out the slugger's obstruction of justice conviction, because Bonds' was never specifically charged with the crime he was convicted of. A jury in April 2011 found Bonds guilty of obstruction for saying he was a "celebrity child" when asked about injecting steroids. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, Pool)

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court on Friday upheld former Giants slugger Barry Bonds' obstruction-of-justice conviction stemming from rambling testimony he gave during a 2003 appearance before a grand jury investigating elite athletes' use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Bonds' testimony was "evasive" and capable of misleading investigators and hindering their probe into a performance-enhancing-drug ring centered at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, better known as BALCO.

In a statement Friday night, Bonds said he was disappointed but he has instructed his attorneys to ask that he be allowed to immediately begin serving his sentence of 30 days of house arrest and two years of probation.

"Meanwhile, I also intend to seek further judicial review of the important legal issues presented by the appeal that was decided today," Bonds said. "This has been a long and difficult chapter in my life and I look forward to moving beyond it once I have fulfilled the penalties ordered by the court."

Like several other prominent athletes who testified before the grand jury, Bonds was granted immunity from criminal prosecution as long as he testified truthfully.


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