28 Feb 2009

Barry Bonds trial delayed

2:27 pm on 28 February 2009

Next week's trial of American baseball home-run king Barry Bonds on charges he lied about steroid use has been put on hold after prosecutors said they'll ask an appeals court to allow evidence thrown out by the trial judge.

Bonds, who passed Hank Aaron to become Major League Baseball's career home run leader in 2007, says he is innocent and aims to cleanse his tarnished reputation at the trial, which had been scheduled to start on Monday.

The already diminished standing of America's "national pastime" -- baseball -- is also at play as one of the best players ever faces allegations his records were achieved with illegal drugs.

He faces 11 felony counts of lying to a grand jury about drug use and could go to prison for a decade or more if convicted.

The government's case that Bonds took steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs was dealt a sharp setback last week when U.S. District Judge Susan Illston threw out records that prosecutors said linked Bonds to drugs.