Al-Jazeera TV Asks Judge to Toss Major League Baseball Players’ Defamation Claim

By | September 15, 2016

Al-Jazeera America is asking a judge to dismiss defamation lawsuits filed by two Major League Baseball players over statements made in the broadcaster’s documentary about performance-enhancing drugs in sports.

Lawyers for the news organization and for Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals and Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington. The suits, which were consolidated into one Tuesday, refer to the documentary “The Dark Side: Secrets of Sports Doping,” broadcast by Al-Jazeera America in December 2015.

The suit alleges a pharmacist who appeared in the documentary made false statements when he said Zimmerman and Howard took banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Major League Baseball investigated the allegations and said it found no violations of its drug agreement.

After more than two hours of arguments Tuesday, the judge overseeing the case said she would issue a written ruling on whether the case should be dismissed. But she did not say when she would rule.

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