Barry Bonds didn't admit guilt Friday to charges he lied to federal investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs.
The home run king's arraignment in U.S. District Court marked his first public appearance since a Nov. 15 indictment charging him with four counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice.
If he's convicted of all five charges, Bonds could spend more than two years in prison.
Bonds appeared relaxed as he smiled and chatted with his cadre of attorneys as he waited for the judge to arrive in court. He then stood before the judge with his hands clasped behind his back as he said he understood his rights.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered Bonds freed on $500,000 personal recognizance, meaning he won't have to put up any money unless he violates the conditions of his release. He was ordered to return to court Feb. 7.
Bonds also had been expected to be booked and have his mug shot taken, but newly hired defense attorney Alan Ruby told the judge Bonds was booked Thursday.
After the hearing, Bonds greeted a small group of supporters who cheered for him in the courthouse lobby, signing an autograph for one woman standing outside the elevator.
Arriving at court earlier with his wife, Liz, and attorney Cristina Arguedas, Bonds stepped from a black sport-utility vehicle and waded through a crush of television cameras, reporters and onlookers as they entered the Phillip Burton Federal Building. Wearing a dark blue suit and tie, he went through the metal detectors and waved to the crowd before stepping into the courthouse elevator and heading to the 19th floor for the hearing.
Prosecutors allege Bonds repeatedly lied when he testified under oath that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.
Several of Bonds' former associates are expected to contradict that testimony, and prosecutors claim to have a blood test from November 2000 that shows a "Barry B" testing positive for two types of steroids.
The 10-page indictment charging Bonds mainly consists of excerpts from his December 2003 testimony before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO. It cites 19 occasions in which Bonds allegedly lied under oath.
Bonds' personal trainer Greg Anderson spent most of the last year in jail for refusing to testify against his longtime friend. Anderson was released hours after the indictment was unsealed Nov. 15, and his attorneys said he didn't cooperate with the grand jury. They also say he will refuse to testify at Bonds' trial, making it possible that prosecutors will again ask a judge to send him back to prison on contempt charges.
"I fully expect the government to start ratcheting up the pressure on Greg," said Anderson's attorney, Mark Geragos. "He will never cooperate with the government. He doesn't trust them."
At the end of the 2003 season, Bonds said, Anderson rubbed some cream on his arm that the trainer said would help him recover. Anderson also gave him something he called "flax seed oil," Bonds said.
Bonds then testified that prior to the 2003 season, he never took anything supplied by Anderson - which the indictment alleges was a lie because the doping calendars seized from Anderson's house were dated 2001.