Broken Bonds

'Cream' and 'Clear'

Bonds testified in 2003 that he took two substances that Anderson gave him, which he referred to as the "cream'' and the "clear,'' according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which obtained transcripts of Bonds' testimony. Bonds said he believed the substances were flaxseed oil and balm. A Balco defense attorney later pleaded guilty to leaking confidential grand jury testimony to the newspaper.

Anderson served three months in jail and three more on house arrest after pleading guilty to steroids distribution. Balco founder Victor Conte, the company's vice president, a coach and a chemist have all pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the steroid probe.

The steroid scandal has deeply disillusioned baseball fans, and spilled over into other sports, where accusations of illegal doping have brought down football players, cyclists, and legendary track and field stars, including Ben Johnson and Marion Jones.

Bonds, whose steadily growing bulk over the years has served to repudiate his denials of steroid use to many fans, became an object of scorn when he broke Aaron's hallowed all-time home run record.

An ABC News/ESPN poll in April found that 73 percent of baseball fans thought Bonds had knowingly taken steroids despite his denials. Nonetheless, in July 2006, most said that if charged criminally he should be allowed to keep playing pending the outcome of his trial (55 percent) rather than face suspension (43 percent), according to ABC News pollster Gary Langer.

In May 2002, Bonds seemed dismissive of the steroids probe.

"Doctors ought to quit worrying about what ballplayers are taking,'' he told Sports Illustrated. "What players take doesn't matter. It's nobody else's business. The doctors should spend their time looking for cures for cancer. It takes more than muscles to hit homers. If all those guys were using stuff, how come they're not all hitting homers?"

Even fans who said they've always been suspicious of Bonds' doping denials seemed saddened by the latest turn of events.

"I've actually invested a lot, in bar arguments, in …well, not his innocence, really, but in making baseball spread some of this scarlet letter around,'' said Patrick J. O'Connor, a ferocious Manhattan baseball fan. "Everybody was rolling him under the bus, and I was ready to defend him. I always thought, 'Yeah, he tinkered with [steroids], but baseball..has to accept some responsibility. They wanted to put fannies in the seats and the owners were profiting.

"C'mon. He hit 73 home runs in one season! Baseball,'' O'Connor said, "has become like the music industry. They need results right away. You can't wait for water to boil anymore." Baseball club owners "need balls over the fence."

"I blame baseball just as much as I blame Bonds."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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