Bonds was convicted on April 13, 2011, on a single charge of obstruction of justice but in April this year Bonds’ conviction was overturned by a 10-1 vote by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, a city where no deposit bonus sport bets are frequent, has cleared its lobby on a Saturday night to make way for a cycling team photo shoot with Barry Bonds, the former San Francisco Giants’ player. Incidentally, this was where Bonds holed up during his drug case. A federal lawsuit was filed against him in 2011.
Allegations of doping, lying about it and obstructing justice, based on wanting to side step grand jury testimony were brought against him. It’s even normal that the hotel has gone all the way out for him. The general manager of the hotel is a Bonds’ friend. Brian Hodes, the photographer opts for a luxurious backdrop to prepare a formal portrait.
Bonds made 762 home runs.
Bonds arrives in front of the hotel with girls pouring out of his Tesla and from a van that pulls up behind. Bonds is dressed in the gray suit and open-necked white dress shirt but at the procession of radiantly- dressed women. In fact, the group of ladies, aged between 15 and 35, as US gambling news later learned, is part of a female cycling team that is backed by Bonds.
Hodes shows them how to pose for the camera, having them on, and encircling, the long sofa, in front of a huge bunch of lilies and forsythia. These women come from far, driving 90 miles through rain and fog, dining at an Italian restaurant dinner curtesy of Bonds.
Hodes starts clicking away, inviting the team general manager Nicola Cranmer and sports director Mari Holden, to join in the photo session. Bonds, who made 762 home runs from the early ’90s, uses his smartphone to freeze this beautiful moment. He is urged by his cycling team to join in, like a team should. The lean, mean once-upon-a- time baseball player, shakes his head.
Retirement marred by doping scandal
Fifteen year-old Texan cyclist, Summer Moak, breezes away from the group and bounds over to Bonds in high heels, begging him to join in. Bonds mutters “It’s not my team,” but it doesn’t take long for the bubbly Moak to finally get him to stand tall beside his companion, sports director, Holden, a past world champion and Olympic silver medalist, for the group shot. He then says “I’m out” and pulls himself away from the feline affair.
So “what was that all about?” you may ask. Well if you are a baseball fan, who bet on the sport under US gambling laws, then you have probably heard of Barry Bonds and his rise and fall as a baseball hero. His career included 3 personal trainers at his beck and call.
He was often seen behind his a batting cage in a ‘tentlike black workout jacket’, or plodding around the basepaths, getting the luxury of having his four-lockers in the Giants’ clubhouse. The media later stalked his every move where The Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) scandal broke out, 4 years after his retirement from MLB.
Off the hook but not off the radar
Accused of doping, Bonds became the center of BALCO’s biggest drugs scandal in athletics history, but the famous baseball star relentlessly claimed he never knew what hit him. He told judges during his 2011 trial that he had no idea that the food supplements he took were laced with illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Although prosecutors presented him loads of evidence pointing to PED use, Bonds was never formally charged with doping nor has he ever been punished by the MLB in any way because he had not failed any drug test. Since then Bonds has moved on to other things, other sports, namely cycling.
Spurred on by his girlfriend, Holden, Bonds is deeply involved with sponsoring the women’s cycling team that she directs. It seems fit that Bonds who had retired from MLB following the 2007 season, where he holds the all-time home run record, should do something with his life, albeit throwing himself into a sport that is in itself stereotyped for its prevalent doping issues.