The publisher and authors of American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) were sued today by a Texas man who says they falsely claimed he was "pushing" steroids to professional athletes and using his gym as a front for selling drugs, according to The Gibson Law Firm.
Former gym owner Kelly Blair, of Deer Park, Texas, alleges that the book falsely linked him to an "underground steroid network," a convicted murderer and drug dealer, drug smuggling from Mexico and Canada, and the preparation of "collections of drugs" shipped to professional athletes.
Blair also is scheduled to testify on Tuesday before a federal grand jury in Washington.
Blair's attorney, Jason A. Gibson, of The Gibson Law Firm, stated, "As the lawsuit alleges, Kelly Blair was maliciously and recklessly defamed by the authors and publishers of this book and at least one dubious source whose false allegations they published. Kelly looks forward to his day in court on this matter. In the meantime, he looks forward to testifying tomorrow before the grand jury in Washington."
The defendants in the lawsuit are authors Michael O'Keeffe, Christian Red, Teri Thompson, and Nathaniel Vinton, all of whom are reporters for the New York Daily News; Robin Dobbins, a Deer Park, Texas man who was a source for the book; and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, of New York.
The lawsuit, which includes claims of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, seeks damages, exemplary damages, and attorney's fees.
The case is "Kelly Blair v. Michael O'Keeffe, et al.," in the District Court of Harris County, Texas, 11th Judicial District, Cause No. 2009-50671.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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