As the BALCO steroid investigation continues, the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that a raid at the home of Barry Bonds' personal trainer in September turned up "suspected anabolic steroids." No one has confirmed this as yet, but it seems like a decent bet that steroids were found in the house of a guy who has worked with Bonds for years, and was around the clubhouse all the time. This, along with Bonds' association with BALCO, is intensifying the long-standing rumors that Bonds was taking steroids. And the simple truth is, we'll never know if he was or not. If he was, he certainly won't now that Major League Baseball is finally going to test for steroids (no matter how perfunctorily). He's too smart to get caught.
On the other hand, if he has been clean, there's not going to be any way to stop the whispers. Simply put, everything Bonds has done in the past is tainted, whether or not he was actually on the juice.
Just imagine if he comes out this year and hits 20 homers. The innuendo will be overwhelming. No one will discuss the possibility that it's just the aging process -- it will just be sly asides and winks. It's a shame, either way. If he's dirty, it's a shame that he's done that, and if he's clean, it's a shame that he'll always be suspected of being dirty.