Barry Bonds attorney appeared before an appeals court panel arguing a conviction for obstructing justice should be tossed. Attorney Dennis Riordan

Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice case was back in federal court Wednesday with his lawyers asking a three-judge panel to toss the conviction out.

Bonds was not in court Wednesday although his attorneys said he really wanted to be. They said Bonds feels strongly about the fact that he did not obstruct justice and he does not want the false conviction, which is a felony, on his record.

On Wednesday, the appellate court heard arguments on whether the conviction should be overturned or not. The jury convicted him based on testimony he gave a grand jury nine years ago when he was asked if he injected steroids. Prosecutors say he rambled and gave a long-winded answer about being the child of a celebrity, but never answered the question. The defense says he answered it three times and calls the charge preposterous.

Outside the court Wednesday, Bonds' attorney explained why he wasn't present. "Barry expressly asked if he could attend the oral arguments today. He very much wanted to do so and as a member of the public, he's entitled to do so. And, we just concluded, and he took our advice, this is a formal, fairly technical proceeding that his presence would just be a distraction," Dennis Riordan told reporters.

Inside the courtroom, the judges asked the assistant U.S. attorney tougher questions than they asked the defense team. Defense attorneys said they were pleased with how the hearing went, but they took care to mention that they never attempt to predict how a judge or panel of judges will rule.

Attorneys say it could be days, weeks, or years before a ruling is made.

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barry bonds, san francisco giants, steroids, crime, mlb, amy hollyfield
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