Reports: Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Howard sue Al Jazeera for defamation
Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard were two of the baseball players connected to PEDs in a story by Al Jazeera America a few weeks ago. They are now suing them for defamation.
This means a little bit more than a simple denial: Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman has reportedly (via Reuters) filed a lawsuit that alleges defamation by Al Jazeera America over the December story that most-famously tied Peyton Manning of the NFL to HGH, but also included the names of prominent MLB players Ryan Howard and Zimmerman.
More on the lawsuit here:
Nats INF Ryan Zimmerman has filed suit against Al Jazeera America in the District. In document, categorically denies ever taking steroids.— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) January 5, 2016
And now there's word that Howard has done so as well.
Ryan Howard has filed defamation lawsuit again Al Jazeera, source tells me.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) January 5, 2016
Immediately after the story broke, the attorney for both Howard and Zimmerman released the following statement:
"It's inexcusable and irresponsible that Al Jazeera would provide a platform and broadcast outright lies about Mr. Howard and Mr. Zimmerman. The extraordinarily reckless claims made against our clients in this report are completely false and rely on a source who has already recanted his claims. We will go to court to hold Al Jazeera and other responsible parties accountable for smearing our clients' good names."
A few days later, the Washington Post reported that the attorney -- on behalf of both Zimmerman and Howard -- sent a letter to Al Jazeera demanding a retraction. The Post noted that such an action is required before filing a defamation suit.
No retraction was issued, and now they have filed a suit.
A lawsuit is a pretty strong move of denial. The players have to go through the legal process, which opens them up to discovery and testimony in a deposition. It would surely be a high-profile suit with lots of information coming to light. Basically, it's unlikely a guilty person would risk it.
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