Barry Bonds, the former San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates slugger, was found guilty on obstruction of justice charges but was not convicted on three counts of perjury regarding his steroid use on Wednesday, media reports say.
Bonds, who played for 22 seasons and hit a record 762 home runs over his career, was convicted on the charges of delaying a grand jury investigation into illegal steroid use and distribution, reported the Los Angeles Times.
In 2003, he told a grand jury that he didn’t knowingly take steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, prosecutors said they will look into a retrial.
Prosecutors at the trial in San Francisco said that Bonds lied when a federal grand jury was investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (Balco), an organization that sold performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.
They also claimed that Bonds took performance-enhancing drugs and steroids to expand his muscle mass and to help him recover from injury.
The 46-year-old Bonds sat there with no expression on his face as the verdict was read, reported the Times.
“[The verdict] will be seen by most people as affirming that Bonds was cheating and using steroids,” former Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent said, according to the Chronicle. “I think it diminishes his standing among baseball fans and historians, and it reduces his short-term prospects of getting into the Hall of Fame.”
Several other baseball players were convicted of making false statements during investigations on whether they used performance enhancing drugs and steroids, including fellow sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
Roger Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young-winning pitcher, is facing a trial this summer on whether or not he used the drugs.
“This case is about upholding one of the most fundamental principles of our justice system,” U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in San Francisco said, according to the Chronicle. “We cannot ignore those who choose instead to obstruct justice.”