Nationals first baseman Zimmerman denies doping allegations

Washington (AFP) –


Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman on Tuesday denied doping allegations raised against him in an Al-Jazeera America documentary in December.

Zimmerman and Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard both filed defamation lawsuits against the broadcaster, but Zimmerman's comments at spring training in Viera, Florida, marked his first public reaction on the matter.

"I've never done any of that," he said.

"I've never thought about doing any of that. It's a tough spot. You do everything the right way. You work. You think something like this will never happen, and then, for some reason, it does."

In the documentary, Charles Sly, identified as a former pharmacy intern at an Indiana anti-ageing clinic, said he provided Zimmerman and others with Delta-2, a pro-hormone banned by Major League Baseball.

Sly later withdrew his statements, which also included a claim that the clinic shipped human growth hormone to the wife of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Sly has since withdrawn his comments, saying they weren't true.

Zimmerman said he felt "a responsibility" to pursue the lawsuit, even though they are "really hard to win."

"It's one of those things where privacy is really not privacy anymore for me, and it's unfortunate that I have to do that, but that's the steps I'm willing to take to show people that I have nothing to hide," he said.