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Barry Bonds pleads not guilty to perjury

Dec. 7, 2007 at 1:08 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Baseball home run king Barry Bonds pleaded not guilty to charges he lied to a federal grand jury when he told the panel he never knowingly took steroids.

The former San Francisco Giants slugger entered the plea Friday during a hearing at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, his first court appearance since being indicted Nov. 15 on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Bonds is accused of giving false testimony to a grand jury during the federal investigation of the BALCO steroids scandal more than four years ago.

Federal agents raided BALCO in 2003, seizing drugs, doping calendars and other evidence that the company was distributing designer steroids to sports stars. In the fall of 2003, more than 30 elite baseball, football and Olympic athletes were subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the case.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered Bonds to return to court Feb. 7.

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