Bonds said, "I think if it wasn't for him, U.S. cycling wouldn't even be here. He was the greatest cyclist of all."
How's this for irony ... Barry Bonds -- the poster child for steroid abuse in MLB -- is coming to Lance Armstrong's defense after the cyclist was banned from cycling for doping ... claiming Lance got screwed over ( ... of course).
Bonds -- who was found guilty last year of felony obstruction of justice for lying during a federal investigation into steroid use by MLB players -- was leaving BOA steakhouse last night in Hollywood, when he was asked what he thought of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's ruling on Lance.
The photog asked Bonds if he thought Lance had been the victim of a witch hunt -- Bonds replied, "I don't know what they're doing, all I know is I love him. He's a great athlete."
Moral of the story -- for Bonds, the ends justify the means ... even if the means were dirty.