Barry Bonds legacy may now officially be on the clock.
His federal trial, which began yesterday in San Francisco, comes almost a decade after the start of a probe that sparked hearings before Congress and exposed the secret use of performance-enhancing drugs by many of the nation's most admired athletes.
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A former model by the name of Kimberly Bell, who had a long affair with Bonds, is the government's star witness. She is slated to testify that steroids diminished his sexual performance, shriveled his testicles and fired his temper. Bell has said that Bonds began taking steroids in 2000 because he was jealous when Mark McGwire broke the record for most home runs in a single season in 1998.
In 2001, Bonds broke McGwire's single-season record by 3, finishing with 73 home runs. In 2007, he became the career record holder as well when he surpassed Hank Aaron. His career home run total stands at 762.
Some prosecutors have expressed concern that jurors may ignore the law and try to send a message to the government by finding Bonds not guilty. The Giants won the World Series last season and Bonds, who played for the team from 1993 to 2007, remains popular with many fans. His late father, Bobby Bonds, was also a Giants star in the late 60's-early 70's.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
UPDATE: On December 16th, in response to the charge of obstruction of justice, Bonds was sentenced to two years probation and thirty days of house arrest.