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Fighter Says Vancouver Sun Defamed Him

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - Mixed martial arts fighter Dominic Richard claims the Vancouver Sun and its reporter Kim Bolan defamed him in a front-page story that falsely claimed he was a gang member involved in drug dealing and murder - then publishing a small apology on the inside of the newspaper.

Bolan's story, which was also published online, explored links between criminal gangs and the burgeoning mixed martial arts scene after Joe Krantz, a fight-club owner and member of the Independent Soldiers gang, was gunned down.

Richard says the story described him as a member of the Independent Soldiers gang, one of several groups clamoring for a piece of British Columbia's lucrative drug trade. Richard appeared in a front-page photograph taken at a fight held at Krantz's club, where he defeated a member of the United Nations gang.

Richard he claims Bolan never contacted him to check the information in the story.

After he sent a written demand for an apology through his lawyer, the complaint states, the Sun published a small apology but only slightly edited the online version of the story.

Richard also sued the Sun's corporate parent, CanWest Mediaworks Publications, Sun publisher Kevin Bent, editor-in-chief Patricia Graham and the Pacific Newspaper Group.

Richard is represented by Bryan G. Baynham with Harper Grey LLP.

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