Barry Bonds to challenge evidence, testimony

January 15, 2009 8:24:01 PM PST
Lawyers for baseball home-run champion Barry Bonds said in a court filing in San Francisco today they plan to oppose an array of planned prosecution evidence, including alleged blood and urine test results and testimony by an ex-girlfriend of Bonds.

Bonds, 44, is due to go on trial in the court of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on March 2 on charges of lying to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied receiving steroids or human growth hormone from his trainer.

Federal prosecutors have said in court papers that evidence to show Bonds allegedly lied includes tests purportedly showing the presence of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in Bonds.

In today's filing, the former San Francisco Giants slugger's lawyers said they will seek to exclude evidence of urine and blood test results as well as documents and calendars allegedly concerning Bonds from the Burlingame-based Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.

Defense attorney Dennis Riordan wrote that not one of the tests "appears accompanied by a clear and complete chain of custody or a foundation to ensure the reliability of the purported results."

Bonds' attorneys also said they will also ask the judge to bar testimony from lay witnesses including Kimberly Bell, a former girlfriend, and former BALCO President Victor Conte about alleged side effects of drugs on Bonds' physical or mental condition or behavior.

The attorneys wrote that the proposed testimony would be scientifically unreliable.

They asked Illston to hold a pretrial hearing on Feb. 6 on whether to exclude the evidence.

Bonds, who set the Major League Baseball record for career home runs in 2007, faces with one count of obstruction of justice and 10 counts of false statements in testimony before a grand jury on Dec. 4, 2003.

The panel was investigating sports drugs distribution by BALCO.

Ten other people charged in the case have pleaded guilty or been convicted of either distributing drugs or lying during the probe.