A week after a major al-Jazeera report about alleged use of HGH and other substances by NFL great Peyton Manning, and Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, as blogged here, the two, who share the same agent, have filed the first lawsuit. Zimmerman’s suit is already posted online.
Lawsuits over things like this are rare. Yes, Albert Pujols sued Jack Clark, but he was working for a local media outlet and was fired a week after making the comments. Al Jazeera is not a local media outlet and has the money for fighting a suit. Plus, it has the recorded conversations Liam Collins had with Charlie Sly. Clark had nothing recorded from conversations he allegedly had with Pujols’ personal trainer, allegedly years before his comments.
It’s risky to air this out.
Meanwhile, there’s yet another twist.
Deadspin insinuated today that the New York Times is hinting that Derek Jeter might be connected, while hinting the Times was also trying to not stick its neck out further than making waves. The Jeter connection? His person trainer was Sly’s business partner.
In the “discovery” process in a lawsuit like this, almost anything is fair game. Al Jazeera can ask for Zimmerman’s and Howard’s phone bills, credit card bills and receipts and much more. Plus, as Yahoo notes, as public figures, they’d have to prove actual malice against Al Jazeera.