Clark, a four-time all-star and former hitting coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was recently hired as a sports radio host by WGNU. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that on two separate occasions recently, Clark said on air that he knows Pujols used steroids. Last Friday, Clark said on air that Pujols “has been a juicer.”
“I know for a fact he was,” Clark said on his show. “The trainer that worked with him, threw him batting practice from Kansas City, that worked him out every day, basically told me that’s what he did.”
Clark apparently reiterated his claims on Monday on his show, and he stood by his comments in an interview with the Post-Dispatch on Thursday.
In addition to Pujols, Clark implied that Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander is juicing, and he said former Dodgers slugger Shawn Green cheated.
Pujols wasn’t about to let the accusations go unnoticed. He issued an angry statement in response and said he was taking legal action against Clark and WGNU. Here’s the full statement via Angels.com:
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. It is irresponsible and reckless for Jack Clark to have falsely accused me of using PED’s. My faith in Jesus Christ, and my respect for this game are too important to me. I would never be able to look my wife or kids in the eye if I had done what this man is accusing me of.
I know people are tired of athletes saying they are innocent, asking for the public to believe in them, only to have their sins exposed later down the road. But I am not one of those athletes, and I will not stand to have my name and my family’s name, dragged through the mud.
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. I have five young children and I take being a role model very seriously. The last thing I want is for the fans, and especially the kids out there, to question my reputation and character.
I have my doubts about how much of a legal case Pujols would have. The man is a public figure and has been associated with PEDs a few times in the past. It seems to me that defamation would be difficult to prove.
Also, the guy is done in by people like Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and Lance Armstrong, who all denied using PEDs until finally being caught. What good does an angry statement do these days? I mean this statement was the written version of Rafael Palmeiro’s finger-wagging speech to congress, and we all know how that one turned out.