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another great piece on bonds

I can't seem to link directly to this piece yet ... I suspect after it's a week old it will show up under "Archives," but in the meantime, go to Edge of Sports and read "This Week's Column," which is by Dave Zirin and is titled "Reasonable Doubt: Why Barry Bonds is NOT on Steroids." An excerpt:

Reports about Bonds' body: how wide his back, how big his jaw, how thick his legs - basically dissecting the man like an animal - pepper the papers. Never mind that Bonds has maintained that he has never taken any banned substance. Never mind that other than the 73 home run year, Bonds - like Aaron - has never even hit 50. Never mind that Bonds' trainer, indicted for steroid distribution, has maintained Bonds' innocence even though such a juicy snitch would keep him out of the clink. Never mind that unlike Giambi, who showed up at training camp this year looking like Aly McBeal, Bonds has maintained his current physical shape for a decade, and even gained 6 pounds this off season. Never mind how common it is for all athletes, like Michael Jordan to Shaquille O'Neal, to thicken with age.
Never mind all of that. The greatest case for reasonable doubt lies in Bonds' very late career success. His unparalleled middle-aged majesty screams his innocence. Steroids and rapid "unnatural" muscle growth puts tremendous pressure on the joints and tendons. Admitted steroid users like former MVPS Ken Caminiti and Jose Canseco, Lenny Dykstra and banned substance user Mark McGwire all saw their bodies break down as they hit their mid 30s. In the end, they limped away from their careers and were put down like Seabiscuit in Elmer's Glue Land. Bonds has thrived as he hurtles toward 40, not unlike Jerry Rice, Bret Favre, Reggie Miller, and Randy Johnson. To go by the rumors that surround him, Bonds' ankles should be snapping like toothpicks every time he jogs to first base....
Whether the anti-steroid furies are motivated to "protect the game", crush the players union, or target Bonds - the fact remains: muscle enhancers cannot slam a 95 mph slider into McCovey Cove. Barry Bonds can - and Ashcroft, Selig, and Bush can kiss his asterisk.

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