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Judge tosses evidence in Bonds case

Feb. 20, 2009 at 8:34 AM   |   Comments

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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A federal judge tossed much of the evidence prosecutors said would show that baseball star Barry Bonds lied about knowingly using steroids.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled Thursday a jury may not hear about three positive steroid tests, doping calendars and other documents in the former San Francisco slugger's perjury trial, which begins March 2.

Prosecutors contended the tests and other evidence showed Bonds' longtime use of performance-enhancing drugs, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

In her ruling, Illston said the evidence was hearsay unless the man who allegedly kept the calendars and arranged the private steroid tests -- Bonds' trainer Greg Anderson -- agrees to testify about the documents. Anderson, who pleaded guilty in the Bay Area Laboratory Co. steroid conspiracy case, has served a year in prison for contempt of court rather than testify against Bonds.

Prosecutor Matthew Parrella said he was told that Anderson, now released, plans to ignore a subpoena to Bonds' trial, the Chronicle said.

Prosecutors had hoped to link Bonds to the drug tests through the testimony of former BALCO Vice President James Valente, who said he knew about the tests because Anderson told him about them, the Chronicle said.

Bonds, baseball's home run king, is charged with 11 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, stemming from his 2003 testimony in which he told the grand jury investigating the BALCO steroids scandal that Anderson had given him flax seed oil and arthritis balm, not steroids.

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