Two of the greatest sluggers in St. Louis Cardinals history won't meet in civil court after all. Albert Pujols will drop a lawsuit against Jack Clark, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday, after Clark retracted and apologized for alleging that Pujols used performance-enhancing drugs.
Back in August, Clark said on his radio show in St. Louis that he "knew for a fact" that Pujols was a "juicer" because Pujols' former trainer told him so. The trainer said Clark's story was untrue and Pujols, after denying the charge, filed suit.
Faced with the reality of fighting a court battle that could have been costly — and he already had been fired from his radio gig — Clark took it all back.
From the P-D:
"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."
That good with you, Albert?
"I have accepted Jack Clark's retraction and apology to resolve my lawsuit against him and clear my name," the statement read.
It was an odd juxtaposition: Clark was to the Cardinals in the 1980s, to a degree, that Pujols was to them in the 2000s. Though not as beloved as Pujols (until Pujols left for the Angels, anyway), Clark was a popular player and remained a popular figure in St. Louis. But he's also struggled financially and seemed to want more attention than he got. Perhaps those factors contributed to Clark saying a few things he couldn't back up.
Clark's retraction should be viewed as a big victory for Pujols — and as encouragement for other major leaguers who have been smeared by PED accusations that were supported only by guesses and innuendo. In an era when many believe that "everyone is guilty," fairly or unfairly, Pujols can righteously say that he is not.
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