A potentially nasty legal battle between Angels slugger Albert Pujols and former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Jack Clark was avoided Monday when Clark issued a public apology for last summer’s comments accusing Pujols of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Pujols, in turn, said he would drop the defamation lawsuit he filed in St. Louis County in October that accused Clark of disseminating “malicious, reckless and outrageous falsehoods” about him in an attempt to “generate attention and ratings” for Clark’s new sports-radio talk show.
“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. “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.”
Pujols, in a statement issued through his agent, said: “I have accepted Jack Clark’s retraction and apology to resolve my lawsuit against him and clear my name.”
Clark based his accusation on conversations he claimed he had with Chris Mihfeld, Pujols’ former personal trainer who worked with the Dodgers when Clark was their hitting coach in 2000.
When on-air partner Kevin Slaten said he long believed Pujols “has been a juicer,” Clark said, “I know for a fact he was. The trainer who worked with him, threw him batting practice from Kansas City, that worked him out every day, basically told me that’s what he did.”
Both Pujols and Mihfeld adamantly denied the accusations, which Pujols said damaged his reputation and caused him to suffer “personal humiliation, mental anguish and anxiety.” The company that produced the radio show issued an apology and fired Clark.