roids_lede.jpgA federal judge in San Francisco will hold a hearing Friday to set a new trial date for home run champion Barry Bonds on charges that he lied to a grand jury in 2003 about his steroid use.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston notified lawyers in the case today that she will set a trial date at an 11 a.m. hearing Friday.

The action comes after prosecutors last month lost their appeal of a ruling in which Illston barred them from using key evidence to prove their charges that Bonds lied in testimony before the federal grand jury on Dec. 4, 2003.

Bonds, 45, faces 10 counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing justice.

The panel was investigating the distribution of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.

Bonds is accused of lying when he said he never knowingly took steroids, never received testosterone or human growth hormone from his trainer, Greg Anderson, and never was injected by Anderson.

The former San Francisco Giants slugger was originally slated to go to trial on March 2, 2009, but the trial was abruptly halted three days before it was scheduled to begin when prosecutors decided to appeal the evidence ruling.

The disputed evidence includes three allegedly positive steroid tests from 2000 and 2001.
Prosecutors claim Bonds gave blood and urine samples to Anderson to take to BALCO to send to an outside laboratory.

But Illston ruled that prosecutors couldn’t use the evidence unless Anderson testified to link it to Bonds. Anderson has refused to testify.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Illston’s ruling on June 11, and prosecutors chose not to appeal further.

Bonds set the Major League Baseball career home run record while playing for the San Francisco Giants in 2007.

He is one of 11 people charged with either perjury or distribution of sports drugs in connection with the BALCO probe. The others have been convicted or pleaded guilty.

In one of those cases, the 9th Circuit today upheld the perjury conviction of former champion cyclist Tammy Thomas, who was found guilty by a jury in Illston’s court in 2008.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!