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Bonds: Congress wasting its time with steroid inquiry

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.

"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.