Feds almost strike out trying in Bonds trial

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As much as Selig would like to declare victory over the Steroid Era, testimony of current and former players in the Bonds trial was a reminder how pervasive the use of PEDs was. There could be another even more painful reminder this summer when Roger Clemens is scheduled to go to trial on charges of lying before a congressional panel on the use of PEDs.

Unlike Bonds, Clemens doesn’t have a former trainer willing to go to jail for him. Instead, he has one who seems to relish the idea of testifying against the big star.

The BALCO investigation _ started almost a decade ago by federal agent Jeff Novitzky digging through garbage outside the San Francisco-area offices of the company _ snared a lot of people along the way. Marion Jones, her track coach, and elite sprint cyclist Tammy Thomas were among those convicted in a probe that ended up spreading far beyond the Bay Area.

Novitzky and his crew can now claim their biggest conviction with Bonds, but it’s a hollow win. While it’s admirable that they went after Bonds when baseball refused to, it’s hard to justify the years of work and the money spent for the relatively insignificant conviction they finally won.

Asked outside the courthouse if he was going to celebrate, Bonds said there was nothing to celebrate. Technically, he’s right, because, for now at least, he’s a convicted felon.

But on this day he had good reason to be flashing the victory sign.

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Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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