Baseball bad boy Bonds avoids jail

Disgraced baseball star Barry Bonds escaped jail in San Francisco, after being found guilty on a criminal charge related to steroid abuse. The sport continues to be tarnished by the repercussions of revelations about steroid use among top players.

Bonds was sentenced to 2 years probation, a $4000 fine and 250 hours of community service. Prosecutors had demanded a custodial sentence.

Bonds was involved with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which has been associated with the supply of steroids to several major league baseball stars.

Bonds had claimed that his trainer had given him protein shakes, flaxseed oil, vitamins and creams, but that he had no knowledge of human growth hormones or steroids. He said no one ever injected him other than medical doctors, although his personal shopper testified that she had witnessed Bonds’s trainer administering injections.

The prosecution argued that Bonds should face a severe sentence because of his refusal to admit culpability. "Bonds's pervasive efforts to testify falsely, to mislead the grand jury, to dodge questions, and to simply refuse to answer questions in the grand jury makes his conduct worthy of a significant jail sentence," they insisted.

During his career with the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates, Bonds hit 762 home runs, a record total. He was voted Most Valuable Player in the National League a record 7 times and made the all star team 14 times.

Since the revelations about steroid abuse there has been an ongoing argument about whether Bonds’s statistics should be erased from the baseball record books.

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