Albert Pujols says he's taking legal action against Jack Clark after the former St. Louis Cardinals star accused him of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
"I am currently in the process of taking legal action against Jack Clark and his employers at WGNU 920AM," the injured Los Angeles Angels' slugger said a statement Friday night. "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."
Clark said Pujols' former trainer, Chris Mihlfeld, told him 10 years ago that he "shot him up."
Mihlfeld told ESPN.com that he didn't tell Clark that Pujols took performance-enhancing drugs.
"I haven't even talked to Jack Clark in close to 10 years," Mihlfeld said. "His statements are simply not true. I have known Albert Pujols since he was 18 years old, and he would never use illegal drugs in any way. I would bet my life on it and probably drop dead on the spot if I found out he has. As before, once again both Albert and myself have been accused of doing something we didn't do."
Pujols, sidelined by a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot, is in his second season with the Angels after 11 years in St. Louis.
"I've said time and time again that I would never take, or even consider taking, anything illegal," Pujols said the statement. "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."