Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Barry Bonds On Deck; Clemens, Armstrong to Follow?
New developments in the Barry Bonds case now set for trial next month centering around Bond's childhood friend, trainer, and alleged PED pal Greg Anderson. You may recall that Anderson spent a year in the pokey for refusing to testify against Bonds before the grand jury. And Anderson, literally the strong silent type, has not budged since despite a promise from the bench that he'll be jailed for the duration of the trial. All of which posed a major "empty chair" problem for prosecutors or did it? In a surprise, Judge Susan Illston ruled yesterday that portions of an audiotape between Anderson and Bonds' former business partner in which Anderson discussed giving Bonds "the cream" and "the clear" were admissible despite the hearsay nature of the evidence. Judge Illston also has recently suggested that she will tell the jury "something" about why Anderson is not a witness at trial without explicitly mentioning his refusal to testify. Hard to say anything in that spot that isn't downright misleading or prejudicial to Bonds (hmm, "The dog ate our witness"?). So, it looks like an 0-2 count for Barry with Clemens due up later this year. You'd think at some point these guys would listen to some good legal advice and shut up. It's the testifying, stupid. The substance itself, juicing without a prescription, is not the stuff a federal case makes. Everyone knows they're users not traffickers.
Which brings us to today's "Retirement 2.0" announcement by Lance Armstrong, a decision he attributed in part to his "off field" issues (can you say Jeff Novitzky). Rumors have been swirling since the fall about potentially "imminent" charges in the federal investigation. But I am hard-pressed to see a viable charge absent any perjury. Defrauding the U.S. Postal Service out of sponsorship monies? C'mon. Trafficking PEDs to racing teammates? A stretch. Plus, how do you even charge a procedure like blood spinning?
So Lance when you get that subpoena, Just Don't Do It.