Los Angeles (AFP) - A US appeals court overturned Wednesday baseball legend Barry Bonds' conviction for giving evasive testimony, in a long-sought judicial victory for the ex San Francisco Giants slugger.
In 2011, a federal court convicted Bonds, now 50, of providing deceptive answers to questions regarding whether he used performance-enhancing drugs to a federal grand jury.
His lawyers said that, even though their client gave rambling, long-winded testimony, he should not be punished for trying to tell the truth about the so-called BALCO steroids scandal.
On Wednesday the Ninth Circuit federal Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that "during a grand jury proceeding, defendant gave a rambling, non-responsive answer to a simple question.
"Because there is insufficient evidence that (his statement) was material, defendant's conviction for obstruction of justice... is not supported by the record," it said, adding: "Defendant's conviction here must be reversed."
Bonds was sentenced in 2011 to two years' probation, 250 hours of community service, handed a $4,000 fine and month of monitored home confinement.
Despite his tainted past Bonds may be trying to get back into the game as a coach. He holds numerous league records, including most career home runs (762) and the most home runs in a single season (73 set in 2001).