Feds end prosecution of Barry Bonds without conviction

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Ex San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds is feeling relieved Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Justice formally dropped its criminal prosecution for obstruction of justice, ending a decade-long investigation over allegations he received performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds, Major League Baseball’s career homerun leader, was convicted in 2011 of obstruction of justice for giving a meandering answer to a federal grand jury when asked about steroid injections. A federal appeals court overturned that conviction in April.

In a one-paragraph court filing, the DOJ announced Tuesday it would not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the federal appeals court ruling to overturn Bonds’ conviction.

“The finality of today’s decision gives me great peace. As I have said before, this outcome is something I have long wished for. I am relieved, humbled and thankful for what this means for me and my family moving forward,” Bonds said in a statement.

In 2003, Bonds was called before a grand jury investigating the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO. The investigation led to the convictions of numerous coaches, trainers, and notable athletes including Olympic track gold medalist Marion Jones.

Bonds was convicted in the 2011 trial of obstructing justice for giving the grand jury an allegedly misleading answer when asked whether his trainer, Greg Anderson, injected him with steroids.

“That’s what keeps our friendship,” Bonds told the grand jury. “I was a celebrity child, not just in baseball by my own instincts. I became a celebrity child with a famous father. I just don’t get into other people’s business because of my father’s situation, you see.”

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April ruled by a 10-1 vote that prosecutors failed to prove that Bonds’ rambling answer was material, or relevant, to the grand jury’s probe and thus an obstruction of justice.

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