WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman sued the Al Jazeera television network for defamation on Tuesday over a report that he used a performance-enhancing drug.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, accuses the Qatar-based network of libel and invasion of privacy. Zimmerman is seeking punitive and other damages and a court order that Al Jazeera retract false and defamatory statements, according to the court filing.
Al Jazeera reported last month that Zimmerman and Ryan Howard, of the Philadelphia Phillies, along with some National Football League players, had received supplies of Delta-2, a banned hormone supplement.
Major League Baseball has said it would investigate the allegations.
The source for the story, Charles Sly, also told an Al Jazeera undercover reporter that he had supplied Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning with human growth hormones to recover from neck surgery in 2011. Manning has denied the allegations.
Sly has recanted his comments, saying the network recorded him without his knowledge or consent.
Al Jazeera did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)