HOUSTON (CN) – A trainer and former gym owner claims Knopf Doubleday and four of its authors defamed him in “American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America’s Pasttime.” Kelly Blair says the book falsely claims he was “pushing” steroids to professional baseball players, including Clemens and New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, and using his gym as a cover for selling drugs.
Blair, owner of 1-on-1 Elite Personal Fitness, says the authors falsely state he bought “steroids and Human Growth Hormone from AIDS patients, individuals in Canada and Mexico, and from doctors who were liberal with prescriptions,” then prepared “collections” of drugs for shipment to Major League Baseball players.
“Defendants additionally state Blair was associated with former IFBB bodybuilder Craig Titus, a confessed murderer and convicted ecstasy dealer, who defendants claim moved steroids through Blair’s gym,” according to the complaint in Harris County Court.
Blair says he lost business and had to shut down his gym because of the false allegations.
In addition to Knopf, Blair sued authors Michael O’ Keeffe, Christian Red, Teri Thompson, and Nathaniel Vinton; and Robin Dobbins, who allegedly “provided false information to the other defendants.”
Blair seeks punitive damages for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is represented by Jason Gibson.