by Sam Levin
Former Cardinals slugger Jack Clark is standing by his controversial comment that he knows "for a fact" Albert Pujols has used performance-enhancing drugs.
"I stand by my previous remarks regarding Pujols and will rigorously defend any lawsuit that he chooses to file," Clark says in a statement sent out this afternoon. "Litigation is an intense fact finding process and I welcome the opportunity for a jury of 12 unbiased people to judge the credibility of my comments."
The short statement comes from the office of St. Louis Attorney Chet Pleban, who Clark has retained to represent him in the wake of Pujols' threats of legal action.
See also: - Why Is Jack Clark Now Accusing Albert Pujols? Recall 2006 Chris Mihlfeld Rumors - Albert Pujols Accused of Steroid Use: "I Know for A Fact He Was," Says Jack Clark - Albert Pujols to Sue Jack Clark; Kevin Slaten May Sue InsideSTL
As we reported last week, Clark's new accusations against Pujols spread quickly last Friday and eventually cost him his brand new radio gig co-hosting a sports-talk show on WGNU (920 AM) alongside Kevin Slaten. Less than a day after the intense media attention around the steroid remarks began, insideSTL Enterprises, LLC, which had contracted Clark and Slaten for the show, announced that it was canceling their show immediately.
Hours earlier, Pujols issued this lengthy statement, arguing that he has never used steroids -- and making clear he would fight back:
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.
Slaten has now threatened to sue insideSTL over his termination and Clark has retained legal counsel to defend against a lawsuit from Pujols.
At the center of these new allegations is Chris Mihlfeld, Pujols' trainer and close friend, who was caught up in similar accusations back in 2006. As we chronicled in our cover story profile of Mihlfeld that year, the unsubstantiated rumors spread like wildfire and badly damaged his reputation.
It's unclear why Clark is making these accusations now and said nothing back in 2006 when these rumors first surfaced. Mihlfeld has once again vehemently denied the claims.
We've left a message with Pleban for further details and put in a request to speak with Clark directly as well. We'll update if we hear more.