Barry Bonds said he’s ‘proud’ of Mark McGwire

Barry Bonds said he is “proud” of slugger Mark McGwire for returning to baseball as the St. Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach and for admitting his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

“I have a really good friendship with Mark McGwire. I’m proud of him,” Bonds said Sunday in San Francisco at a reunion of the Giants’ 2000 National League West champion team. “We’ve had a great relationship throughout our entire lives and throughout our career. I’m proud of what he did. I’m happy for him.”

Although Bonds didn’t rule out also going into coaching one day, his six-minute session with the media was stopped after the question about McGwire.

In January, McGwire ended more than a decade of denials and evasion and finally acknowledged he used steroids and human growth hormone during his career, including in 1998 when he hit 70 home runs and broke the single-season record.

Bonds, who topped that mark when he hit 73 homers in 2001, has long denied ever knowingly using steroids or performance-enhancers in his pursuit of the career home run record.

Benard says he used steroids

Former Giants outfielder Marvin Benard admitted he used steroids during the team’s 2002 World Series season to deal with a nagging knee injury.

Benard acknowledged his steroid use to the Associated Press on Sunday, when he was in the Bay Area for the Giants’ reunion. He said he was coping with his troublesome, surgically repaired left knee at the time and thought steroids would help him stay on the field.