ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols sued Jack Clark on Friday over comments on a local radio show accusing the three-time NL MVP of using steroids.
The lawsuit between former Cardinals stars was filed in Circuit Court in St. Louis County, where Pujols lives. It seeks unspecified damages that would be donated to charity, and asks for a determination and declaration that Clark's statements are false.
The petition says Pujols' "character and reputation are impeccable and beyond reproach" and cites his charitable work with the Pujols Family Foundation, while calling Clark "a struggling radio talk show host" who was chasing ratings in the first week his new show was on the air.
Pujols, a nine-time All-Star, played for the Cardinals from 2001-11, then left to sign a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
"My lawyers have told me that the upcoming legal fight will not be an easy one, and that in cases like this even a liar can sometimes be protected under the law," Pujols said in a statement. "I have never shied away from standing up for the truth, and I believe that the principles at stake are too important to sit back and do nothing."
"I believe we are all accountable for the things we do and say, and it was important for me to stand up for what was right against those who would seek to drag me down to try and build themselves up," he said.
The lawsuit came one day after three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig in New York for alleged interference with his current and prospective business deals. Rodriguez has a $275 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, the only baseball deal larger than Pujols' agreement.
Clark played for the Cardinals from 1985-87 and was a four-time All-Star. He made the comments on Aug. 2 on WGNU-AM radio's "The King and the Ripper Show," saying he knew "for a fact" that Pujols used steroids and performance enhancing drugs. He called Pujols "a juicer" and made similar on-air comments three days later.
Clark and his co-host on the program, Kevin Slaten, were fired a week into their tenure, and the station's owner broadcast a lengthy apology and posted similarly contrite statements on its website. The lawsuit does not name the radio station or Slaten as defendants.
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