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Former MLB Slugger Jack Clark Accuses Albert Pujols of PED Use

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2013

Jack Clark had a memorable MLB career. He made four All-Star teams and was one of the better power hitters of his era. He had an 18-year career from 1975-1992, hitting 340 home runs in the process. 

Clark has taken aim at a current slugger in the form of Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, accusing him of using performance-enhancing drugs.


UPDATE: Saturday, Aug. 10, at 9 a.m. ET

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the latest on the Clark situation:

Former Cardinals icon Albert Pujols said late Friday that he plans to sue former Cardinal Jack Clark, as well as those connected with the St. Louis radio station on which he appears, for Clark’s on-air steroids allegations about Pujols.

Then shortly after midnight Saturday morning, the company that has put Clark and co-host Kevin Slaten on the air abruptly announced they will not be returning — after just seven shows.

The station released the following statement, according to Caesar:

Early Saturday, insideSTL announced it “has terminated its relationship with Jack Clark and Kevin Slaten. As independent contractors, we want to make it clear that the opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of insideSTL. Also as independent contractors, insideSTL did not have editorial control over the show’s content.’’

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 9, at 11 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Times reporter Mike DiGiovanna supplies Pujols' statement regarding Clark's accusations:

I’ve said time and time again that I would never take, or even consider taking, anything illegal.  I’ve been tested hundreds of times throughout my career and never once have I tested positive. 

I am currently in the process of taking legal action against Jack Clark and his employers at WGNU 920AM.  I am going to send a message that you cannot act in a reckless manner, like they have, and get away with it.  If I have to be the athlete to carry the torch and pave the way for other innocent players to see that you can do something about it,  I am proud to be that person. 

---End of update---


UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 9, at 10:35 p.m. ET

From Los Angeles Times reporter Mike DiGiovanna:

---End of update---


UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 9, at 1:30 p.m. ET

Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports passes along this quote from Chris Mihlfeld, the trainer who Clark claims to have received his information from:

I haven’t even talked to Jack Clark in close to 10 years. His statements are simply not true. I have known Albert Pujols since he was 18 years old and he would never use illegal drugs in any way. I would bet my life on it and probably drop dead on the spot if I found out he has. As before once again both  Albert and myself have been accused of doing something we didn’t do.

---End of Update---


According to Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Clark has wasted little time in making headlines since landing a sports talk radio gig in St. Louis earlier in the week. Clark has already made several controversial statements, but none of them measure up to his insistence that Pujols has used performance-enhancing drugs in the past.

Clark explained that his intel regarding the situation comes from conversations he had with trainer Chris Mihlfeld back in the early 2000s. Clark was the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time, and Mihlfeld was working as a trainer for the organization as well. Mihlfeld and Pujols had a working relationship that stemmed from their time together at Maple Woods Community College, where Pujols played and Mihlfeld coached.

According to Clark, Mihlfeld told him that he injected Pujols, although he didn't specifically tell him what he injected him with.

Mihlfeld “had told me what he was doing with ‘Poolie’ — threw him batting practice, worked him out, shot him up, all that stuff,” Clark said on the air.

Clark also said that he and Mihlfeld had discussions about a workout regimen, and that Mihlfeld suggested that Clark should consider taking steroids.

I had asked him about conditioning and working me out, what he would do for me, and he asked me whether I had ever thought of taking some steroids, Clark said. ... He just told me that he wanted me to get started on steroids and he had some other guys that were doing it. He told me that’s how he’s conditioning this guy that he met out of high school and college and he looked like he was going to be a star, keep an eye on him.

According to Clark, the star player that Mihlfeld was referencing was Pujols.

Mihlfeld's potential involvement with performance-enhancing drugs isn't a new development. One of his clients, former Major League pitcher Jason Grimsley, was nailed for using PEDs back in 2006. Accusations were naturally tossed in Pujols' direction after that, but he adamantly denied using performance-enhancing drugs, and Mihlfeld was exonerated as well.

Despite Clark's comments on the radio, he claims that he is friends with Pujols, according to Caesar.

I like Albert, he’s a friend of mine, Clark, now 57, said. I don’t believe that none of these guys haven’t cheated just because everybody hasn’t been caught. I personally know some other situations from down in Kansas City from when I was with the Dodgers. To me, nobody gets a free pass.

Pujols hasn't been Clark's only target. He speculated that Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander's down season could be the product of him using performance-enhancing drugs in the past.

Verlander was like Nolan Ryan, he threw 97, 98, 100 miles an hour from the first inning to the ninth inning, Clark said on the air. He got that big contract, now he can barely reach 92, 93. What happened to it? He has no arm problems, nothing’s wrong. It’s just the signs are there.

Clark didn't claim to have any inside information regarding Verlander, but he clearly made his suspicions known.

Pujols has struggled since signing a monster contract with the Angels prior to last season, and he is currently on the shelf with a foot injuryWith negativity starting to rain down upon Pujols, it will be interesting to see if he will be able to bounce back and return to his once-dominant form.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

WGNU sells its weekday airtime to insideSTL Enterprises, which has a variety of employment deals with the hosts. A source said the arrangement with Clark and Slaten did not have them working directly for that company. So technically they couldn’t be fired, simply not allowed to return.

Early Saturday, insideSTL announced it “has terminated its relationship with Jack Clark and Kevin Slaten. As independent contractors, we want to make it clear that the opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of insideSTL. Also as independent contractors, insideSTL did not have editorial control over the show’s content.’’

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