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Ryan Howard has filed a defamation lawsuit over an Al Jazeera report linking him to PEDs

A broadcast report by Al Jazeera linked Ryan Howard and other star athletes to the use of PEDs. Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman, both clients of the same attorney, have filed defamation lawsuits over the report.

Charlie Sly, a former pharmacist, was the one who linked star athletes to the use of PEDs during an Al Jazeera broadcast report recently. Sly, before the broadcast was even aired, recanted the claims and asked Al Jazeera to not air the broadcast. After the broadcast, Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman, through their mutual attorney, asked that the network retract the claims made in the report. None of those things happened, so what is likely to be a bombardment of lawsuits started with one being filed against the network by both Howard and Zimmerman.

The lawsuit, which also names two reporters in the case, seeks to "redress an unjust injury to the public image and reputation of Ryan Howard, which have been damaged by outrageously false and defamatory statements recklessly published by Al Jazeera."

The suit was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. by attorney Andrew H. Herman.

Most of the report focused on Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, but also implicated other athletes. Howard, through his attorney, warned the network prior to the report being broadcast that the claims were untrue and admonished them not to broadcast them. The network stood by their sources and later refused to retract the report even after Sly recanted the story.

A statement by Howard said that he authorized the filing of the lawsuit to "protect my name and fight back against the spreading of these lies." Howard stated that he will decline to comment further on the lawsuit, allowing the suit to speak for itself. It's likely that Howard will have to testify in court and the filing now opens him up to discovery by attorneys for Al Jazeera. Neither Howard nor his attorney seem concerned about the prospect of either happening.

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