Yahoo! Sports has gained access to previously sealed documents regarding the whole Barry Bonds/BALCO testimonies. The news: Bonds was not doing anything illegal by taking “The Clear” because it wasn’t classified as a steroid until 2005. That’s important…because the BALCO labs closed well before that.
Evidence that the Clear was legal and technically not a steroid until the Anabolic Steroids Act of 2004 took effect in January 2005 could emerge as central to Bonds’ defense, experts say. Perjury questions must be unambiguous to win a conviction, and the testimony of Catlin and Novitzky could establish that the government knew about ambiguity concerning the Clear before Bonds took the stand.
Experts say prosecutors might have intentionally asked Bonds what they knew to be ambiguous questions – never defining steroids or making a distinction between drugs that were illegal or merely banned by many major sports.
“This case has been presented as Barry Bonds lying about steroids,” said Christopher Cannon, a San Francisco defense attorney with extensive experience in federal perjury cases. “The government’s theory is that he was taking the Clear. If the government knows the Clear wasn’t a steroid – then when Barry said he wasn’t taking a steroid, he was telling the truth.”
Sure hope Marc Ecko’s ass didn’t deface that ball yet.