Another sports defamation scandal slid into the courts. This time, Roger Clemens is commanding center stage. Back in 2008, Clemens testified under oath at a Congressional hearing; he swore that he didn’t use performance-enhancing drugs during his career. But Roger did insinuate, under oath, that his trainer, Brian McNamee, allegedly messed around with syringes. Needless to say, McNamee wasn’t amused with Clemens’ veiled accusations. So, the trainer slapped the MVP with a whopper of a sports defamation lawsuit.
Roger Clemens’ Sports Defamation Lawsuit: Judge Waves Through Trial
Earlier this month, Judge Sterling Johnson dismissed charges of “deliberate infliction of emotional distress,” but allowed the claim of defamation as it related to Clemens’ testimony concerning the syringes. In his sports defamation claim, McNamee further alleges that Clemens manufactured false evidence.
Regardless of your opinion on steroid use, one thing appears evident: Brian McNamee must have solid evidence against Clemens for a judge to advance the case because defamation lawsuits require specific evidence.
Roger Clemens Defamation Lawsuit: The Burden of Proof
Because of the First Amendment, libel and defamation actions are difficult to win. Accusers must provide ample evidence that the offending party did, indeed, cause material damage or loss. In addition, there must be substantial evidence that points to either malicious intent or reckless disregard for the truth.
Roger Clemens Defamation Lawsuit: Wait! First Let’s Clear Up the Other 6 Counts
McNamee’s civil defamation action against Clemens will have to wait until the former pitcher is brought up on six other criminal charges including obstruction of Congress, perjury and making false statements. (Ouch).
Clemens’ criminal trial is set to begin in July; McNamee hopes his civil defamation trial can begin in September.
For more information about defamation law, contact a qualified sports defamation attorney.