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Ryan Howard sues media over doping report

"Their irresponsible reporting forced me to take this action to protect my name," Howard said.
Ryan Howard on Sept. 14, 2015 during the Philadelphia Phillies v. Washington NationalGetty Images

Philadelphia Phillies first basemanRyan Howard has followed through on his earlier words: He's suing Al Jazeera and reporters involved with a recent doping story.

ESPN reported that Howard is joined in the lawsuit by Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

6ABCadded that Howard released a statement, saying, "Today I authorized my attorneys to file suit against Al Jazeera and its reporters. Their irresponsible reporting forced me to take this action to protect my name and to fight back against the spreading of these lies. I will have no further comment, as the filing itself contains all I need to say."

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Many athletes named in the Al Jazeerastory"emphatically denied" the allegations made in the report.

Sports Illustrated explained that the story "implicated several athletes in a performance-enhancing drug trade. Among them were Zimmerman and Howard, who were alleged to have bought and used the drug Delta-2, a hormone supplement, and human growth hormone from an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic."

The primary source in Al Jazeera's report, former pharmaceutical intern Charlie Sly, recanted his story, according to Sports Illustrated.

Libel or defamation suits are generally rare – the legal threshold is very highfor public figures, like professional athletes, to overcome.

In other words, Howard is making an incrediblystrong statement by filingsuit in the first place.

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