Bonds, Clemens head Hall of Fame ballot
NEW YORK (AFP) –
Major League Baseball’s so-called “steroid era” is sure to come under renewed scrutiny as Hall of Fame voters consider a 2013 ballot that includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.
Former Giants slugger Bonds is baseball’s all-time home run leader with 762 over 22 seasons and also set the single-season mark for homers with 73 in 2001.
Clemens is a seven-time Cy Young award-winning pitcher, while Sosa hit 609 homers in his career.
Hall of Fame voters will now have to weigh whether doping allegations that tainted their achievements should keep them out of the shrine.
Bonds was sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and two years of probation for giving misleading testimony in connection with the BALCO steroid disbribution probe, a conviction he later appealed.
While he was convicted of obstruction of justice, jurors deadlocked on three other perjury charges against him.
Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson pleaded guilty to steroid distribution charges stemming from his involvement with BALCO.
Clemens was acquitted on charges of perjury, making false statements and obstructing Congress for denying in testimony before lawmakers that he took performance-enhancing drugs.
Mark McGwire who in 1998 became the first player to hit 70 homers in a season, is on the ballot again, but so far his fate in the balloting appears to reflect a reluctance to enshrine players linked to doping.
McGwire, who admitted in 2010 that he had used steroids during his career, has never received as much as 25 percent in six appearances on the ballot.
Players may stay on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive 5 percent of the vote each year.
Rafael Palmeiro, among only four players with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits in his career, was suspended 10 days in 2005 after a positive drugs test. He returns to the ballot after twice failing to gain election.