Ryan Zimmerman spoke at length this Spring about wanting to clear his name after it surfaced in an Al-Jazeera News investigation into PED use among professional athletes.
"I’ve spent my whole career, my whole life really doing things the right way, so you’re shocked,’’ Zimmerman said when asked about learning that he was mentioned in the report.
"It’s one of those things where, I've talked to Ryan [Howard] a little bit and both of us are to the point where-- it's one of those things where you don’t really have an answer. You don’t really know why or how this happened.
“Then, you turn from being shocked to being angry and frustrated. I think the biggest thing that frustrated me or angered me was not so much what you guys think or baseball players think, but I spend a lot of time in the community in D.C. and kids and families and things like that. To think that, I guess my integrity and the person that I really am is questioned by someone who has never met me, doesn’t know what I’m about, so I think that was probably the hardest part."
"I've never met that guy,’’ Zimmerman continued. ‘‘I've never heard of that guy. The guy that supposedly helps me train in the offseason.
"None of that stuff is true. I’ve never done any of that. I’ve never even 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."
"We're taking the right steps to ultimately clear my name which is the most important part and unfortunately nowadays, the public opinion is one of the things that matters the most and I trust that my teammates and the people that I guess you can say matter, not that some people don't matter, but the people who really know me, know the truth."
After MLB conducted and completed their own investigation into the allegations, they released a statement on their findings today:
MLB statement regarding Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman: pic.twitter.com/cqulaEHwQF— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) August 19, 2016
Zimmerman issued a statement as well as posted by MLB.com’s Bill Ladson on Twitter:
"I understand why Major League Baseball found it necessary to explore this matter, and I appreciate that MLB, after a thorough investigation, was able to publicly affirm my innocence. Throughout my life and career, I have been true to myself, my family, the Nationals organization and my community. It is not right that a so-called news organization and its personnel can publicly make false accusations that damage my reputation and call into question my integrity without any consequences whatsoever. As I said in January when I filed my lawsuit, I am determined to hold Al Jazeera and its reporters accountable for their defamatory actions."