Bonds: Congress wasting its time with steroid inquiry

Updated: September 20, 2005, 10:34 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- In the nation's capital on his first road trip of 2005, Barry Bonds questioned why Congress, the media and fans continue to talk about steroids.

Barry Bonds
Bonds would like everyone to be quiet about steroids -- just like he told people to shush after home run No. 706.

"I think we have other issues in this country to worry about that are a lot more serious. I think you guys should direct your efforts into taking care of that," the San Francisco Giants slugger said Tuesday before facing the Washington Nationals. "Talk about the athletes that are helping Katrina. Ask yourselves how much money y'all personally donated and have helped."

Asked whether Congress was wasting time by looking into steroid use in sports, Bonds responded: "Pretty much, I think so. Yeah."

Several congressional committees have held hearings on drug testing in pro sports, and legislation has been proposed to standardize leagues' drug policies.

"You know what? There are still other issues that are more important," Bonds said. "Right now, people are losing lives, don't have homes, I think that's a little more serious. A lot more serious."

Told of Bonds' comments, Dave Marin, a spokesman for House Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., said: "Members of Congress, particularly Tom Davis, can walk and chew gum at the same time."

Congressional investigators from that committee are looking into whether Baltimore Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro lied under oath about steroid use and are interviewing other players who know Palmeiro.

Bonds has not been contacted.

"Raffy Palmeiro and I are good friends and we will stay continually good friends. Period. And I will always have respect for him as a person and a player, regardless," Bonds said.

Bonds, booed throughout Tuesday's game, hit his 706th homer in the fourth inning.

As the ball arched toward the stands, fans who moments earlier were booing rose to cheer. Bonds was booed when his name was announced during pregame introductions, booed when he stepped into the on-deck circle, and booed when he went out to play left field.

"I've been tarnished for being in baseball for years and years. There's nothing you guys can write or people can say that's going to fix that. It doesn't matter any more. I go out there and enjoy the game," he said.

It was Bonds' third homer of 2005, and it came in his 18th at-bat. Out all season after three knee operations, he returned to the Giants on Sept. 12.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press