Updates from Monday, Feb. 10
A lawsuit that could have pitted one former Cardinals slugger against another over allegations of performance-enhancing drug use has been resolved as Jack Clark issued a public retraction for his comments made about three-time MVP Albert Pujols.
Pujols will drop the lawsuit he filed against Clark as a result, a source with knowledge of the decision confirmed.
"I would like to address Albert Pujols' pending defamation lawsuit and re-confirm that I have no knowledge whatsoever that Mr. Pujols has ever used illegal or banned PEDs," Clark said in a statement he released and was provided to The Post-Dispatch. "I publicly retract my statements that Albert Pujols used such substances. During a heated discussion on air, I misspoke and for that I sincerely apologize."
Los Angeles Angels superstar Albert Pujols is suing former MLB player Jack Clark for comments he made on a St. Louis-based radio show that claimed the former Cardinals slugger used performance-enhancing drugs earlier in his career.
Pujols has denied the accusations ever since the remarks were made in early August. Now, Kim Bell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Pujols has filed a lawsuit in order to clear his name by getting a declaration the claims are false.
On Aug. 2, Clark said during his The King and the Ripper radio program on WGNU 920 AM that he knew "for a fact" that Pujols used steroids and performance enhancing drugs.
Clark's statements are lies that have damaged Pujols' reputation, causing him personal humiliation, mental anguish and anxiety, the suit says.
The suit calls Clark's statements "malicious, reckless and outrageous falsehoods."
The report also provides further details about the comments made by Clark, which referenced Chris Mihlfield, a trainer who had worked with the first baseman.
On the Aug. 2 show, Clark alleged that he was told in 2000 by former Pujols trainer Chris Mihlfield that Mihlfield had "shot (Pujols) up" with steroids. Clark and Mihlfield both worked for the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization at the time. At one point, co-host Kevin Slaten said he long had believed that Pujols "has been a juicer." Clark responded, "I know for a fact he was."
Pujols is one of the most prolific hitters of a generation marred by the use of PEDs. A player with his type of accomplishments, which include a career batting average over .320 and 12 straight 30-homer seasons, a streak that was snapped in 2013, is going to come under scrutiny.
Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times provides some of Pujols' comments from the lawsuit:
More from lawsuit: "Pujols has never used steroids and has never taken any illegal PEDs of any kind." #Angels— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) October 4, 2013
More from Albert Pujols suit: "Cutting [Jack]Clark off at the microphone will not undo the harm to Pujols' reputation caused by Clark."— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) October 4, 2013
In his lawsuit, #Angels slugger Albert Pujols said he will "donate the award of monetary damages received to charity."— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) October 4, 2013
Making direct claims of PED use, as Clark did, takes the situation to another level, though. Pujols clearly didn't appreciate being brought into the negative spotlight and decided a lawsuit was the best way to rectify the situation.
The suit comes shortly after the radio company involved in the dispute released a statement distancing itself from Clark and the allegations.
InsideSTL Enterprises publicly retracts the allegations of PED use by Albert Pujols made on the station recently. We regret that these statements were made. To the extent that our transmission and broadcast of these statements was perceived by anyone as indicating support for, or validation of, those allegations, we emphasize that we had no advance knowledge of the allegations, we did not make them, we know of no proof or evidence to substantiate them, and we disavow and retract them.
Sandy Davidson of the University of Missouri told the Post-Dispatch's Dan Caesar back in August that Pujols would be fighting a tough battle if he went forward with a lawsuit. It comes down to proving a certain action never happened.
"In general, the person who is suing is going to have to show that what was said is false," she said.
In fact, if Pujols sues his entire life could become under scrutiny.
"You get into a bit of a dicey area when you're trying to prove a negative," she said. "Prove to me you never have used dope. Absent of videotape of your entire life, that's going to be very difficult to do."
That clearly didn't stop Pujols from moving forward with the suit, however.