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2008 MLB review: Big Barry a notable absentee
Barry Bonds and former Senator George Mitchell

The San Francisco Giants basked in the saturation media coverage of the baseball world during Barry Bonds' pursuit of Hank Aaron's all-time home run record in 2007.

But six weeks after the record was broken, the Giants showed there was no room for sentiment when they announced that they would not be re-signing Bonds for 2008.

The left-handed slugger has long been accused of steroid use since the Balco (Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative) drugs scandal broke in 2003, although he has always denied intentionally taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Despite his high profile and Major League record, no team signed Bonds during 2008, although he insisted he was available and had not retired - and his only appearance on a baseball field came during a pre-game ceremony to celebrate the Giants' 50th anniversary.

Bonds has now been charged with 14 counts of perjury by a federal grand jury - while baseball and drugs were under the microscope again when former US Senator George Mitchell's report into the "steroid era" linked dozens of top MLB players with banned substances.
REPORT: US baseball 'rife' with drug use

With Bonds set to go on trial in 2009, this story may not be over.

see also
Barry Bonds gets new indictment
14 May 08 |  Americas

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