From: Reuters
Published March 21, 2008 04:08 PM

Grand jury to review Barry Bonds steroid case anew

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Another federal grand jury will ponder whether baseball home run king Barry Bonds lied under oath about past steroid use, his lawyer said on Friday.

Last year, a grand jury charged the Major League Baseball career home run record holder with perjury during his December 2003 testimony to an earlier grand jury looking into doping in professional sports.

Last month, federal Judge Susan Illston ruled the charges were improperly structured, and in a brief court hearing on Friday prosecutors told her they would seek a new indictment.

"Now after many, many years, they are going to ask, apparently, another grand jury to return another indictment," defense attorney Allen Ruby said after the hearing. "They have the responsibility of trying to salvage this prosecution."

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The seven-time National League Most Valuable Player has faced public suspicions about doping for years as his batting power soared in his late 30s and early 40s, an age at which most players fade and then retire.

Bonds' longtime team, the San Francisco Giants, has not renewed his contract, although the controversial 43-year-old says he is ready to sign with a new team for the season beginning in ten days.

The lead prosecutor asked the judge to schedule a June 6 hearing in the case and said investigators would continue to gather evidence before then.

Bonds, who did not attend the hearing in San Francisco federal court on Friday, has said he is innocent.

(Reporting by Adam Tanner; editing by Todd Eastham)

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