Barry Bonds Supports Lance Armstrong During Steroid Witch-Hunt

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Barry Bonds knows very well what it’s like to be targeted by the federal government in a witch-hunt. Federal investigators have spent millions of dollars targeting athletes suspected of using anabolic steroids. Bonds, along with Armstrong and Clemens, have been some of primary targets in the steroid witch-hunt. So, it came as no surprise when Bonds publicly expressed his full support of Lance Armstrong.

TMZ caught up with the all-time home run leader as he was leaving the BOA Steakhouse in Hollywood. Bonds confessed  his admiration for Armstrong when asked about Armstrong’s recent problems involving the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

“I think if it wasn’t for him, U.S. cycling wouldn’t even be here,” Bonds told TMZ. “He was the greatest cyclist of all.”

Bonds also knows a thing or two about cycling. He transformed himself into competitive cyclist during his retirement from baseball. He competed in 112-mile El Tour de Tucson riding a $16,000 Italian Pinarello racing bike in 2011. Bonds has also been seen training on popular cycling routes in the Rocky Mountains.

Bonds undoubtedly hates to see the sport of cycling, and its heroes, go through the same thing as baseball.

Armstrong was the target of a two-year, multi-million dollar federal investigation into alleged steroid, human growth hormone (hGH) and erythropoietin (EPO) use by Armstrong and his teammates on the United States Postal Service pro cycling team.

Like Armstrong, Bonds also had to endure a multi-million dollar investigation into his alleged steroid use. Unlike Armstrong, Bonds was indicted by the government and put on trial. The government failed to prove that Bonds lied about his steroid use but they did win a conviction on an obstruction of justice charge.

Armstrong was fortunate to avoid a federal indictment when United States Attorney Andre Birotte decided to drop his office’s investigation earlier this year. But since professional cycling has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Code (WADA Code), Armstrong was subjected to separate, “non-governmental” steroid investigation by USADA.

USADA found Armstrong guilty of using banned performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and tecniques (e.g. blood doping / transfusions) throughout the last 14 years of his cycling career. As punishment, USADA issued a lifetime ban prohibiting Armstrong from competing in any WADA-sanctioned sports competition; they took away all seven of Armstrong’s Tour de France titles; and they ordered Armstrong to forfeit all the prize money from these events.

Bonds was fortunate that Major League Baseball and its Player’s Union refused to adopt the anti-steroid and doping rules set forth by the WADA code. Bonds largely prevailed against the government in court where certain standards of evidence and constitutional protections are enforced. He is currently appealing a obstruction of justice conviction.

If he had to face USADA, he would have had a much more difficult time.

Bonds’ opinion of Armstrong was not affected by USADA’s decision. Bonds, like many other Americans, still consider Armstrong the “greatest cyclist of all.” Bonds can only hope that his status as one of the greatest baseball players in history will overshadow his links to baseball’s steroid era.

Photo credit: @TheRealAdamM / Twitter


TMZ Sports. (September 4, 2012). BARRY BONDS: Of Course I Support Lance Armstrong. Retrieved from