Ryan Zimmerman sues Al Jazeera America over claims in documentary

WASHINGTON — Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman filed a lawsuit against Al Jazeera America Tuesday for defamation after the television network’s report that claims he used performance-enhancing drug.

In a suit filed in D.C. District Court Tuesday, Zimmerman claimed the network used “outrageously false and defamatory statements” that injured his public image and reputation. The suit files on counts of libel and false light invasion of privacy, and demands both a retraction and a jury trial.

The suit claims that all of the statements concerning Zimmerman’s performance-enhancing drug use are categorically untrue, and that he “has never taken Delta 2, human growth hormone, or any other steroid or performance-enhancing substance banned by the MLB.”

Zimmerman’s counsel cites a cease-and-desist order issued to the network on Dec. 23, and again on Dec. 26.

The suit calls the source is Al Jazeera’s report into question, too. It says Charles Sly’s secretly videotaped statements regarding Zimmerman are “scandalous and untrue,” and claimed the network “chose to publish their defamatory story in an attempt to stir scandal and increase Al Jazeera’s low ratings, no matter the cost to Mr. Zimmerman.”

It also calls Liam Collins, the runner who went undercover in the documentary, “a known fraudster and publicity-seeker.”

The suit was filed on behalf of Zimmerman by Scott E. Lerner of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.

Al Jazeera America did not have a comment on the lawsuit.

Read the entire suit below.

Al Jazeera, Zimmerman Lawsuit

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