In the wake of recent suspensions to several notable Major Leaguers for their link to the Biogenesis Clinic, former San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Jack Clark announced that three-time National League MVP Albert Pujols used performance-enhancing drugs. Justin Verlander, a 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young winner, and Shawn Green, a retired slugger who spent much of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers, were also mentioned by Clark as a suspected PED users.
Clark commented on Pujols’s PED use while serving as a new radio host with Kevin Slaten on WGNU (920 AM) in St. Louis. According to a report by Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Clark chimed in when Slaten suggested that the current Los Angeles Angels and former St. Louis Cardinals star was a “juicer.”
“I know for a fact he was,” said Clark. “The trainer that worked with him, threw him batting practice from Kansas City, that worked him out every day, basically told me that’s what he did.”
Chris Mihlfeld served as Pujols’s personal trainer. Clark said Mihlfed “had told me what he was doing with ‘Poolie’ — threw him batting practice, worked him out, shot him up, all that stuff.”
According to ESPN.com's T.J. Quinn, Mihlfeld denies Clark’s assertion.
"I haven't even talked to Jack Clark in close to 10 years,” said Mihfeld. “His statements are simply not true. I have known Albert Pujols since he was 18 years old, and he would never use illegal drugs in any way. I would bet my life on it and probably drop dead on the spot if I found out he has. As before, once again both Albert and myself have been accused of doing something we didn't do."
In a phone interview on Thursday with Caesar, Clark said he spoke with Mihlfeld when they worked with the Dodgers.
“I had asked him about conditioning and working me out, what he would do for me, and he asked me whether I had ever thought of taking some steroids,” Clark said. “ He just told me that he wanted me to get started on steroids and he had some other guys that were doing it. He told me that’s how he’s conditioning this guy that he met out of high school and college and he looked like he was going to be a star, keep an eye on him.’’
As for Verlander, Clark’s comments were based on conclusions and evidence he learned without testimony from a trainer.
“Verlander was like Nolan Ryan, he threw 97, 98, 100 miles an hour from the first inning to the ninth inning,” Clark said on the air, according to the Post-Dispatch. “He got that big contract [in March], now he can barely reach 92, 93. What happened to it? He has no arm problems, nothing’s wrong. It’s just the signs are there.
“The greed … they juice up, they grab the money and it’s just a free pass to steal is the way I look at it.”
Clark added a story about Green, when Clark served as a batting coach for the Dodgers.
“I’ve seen Shawn Green leaving the clubhouse with a bunch of acne on his back and I walk past him (and say,) ‘Hey Greenie, see you later.’ He turned around to me and said (stammering) ‘I have an irritation. These guys that fake you out it’s very disappointing, especially when they are breaking records. Here I am in L.A. as the hitting coach and Shawn Green is breaking Duke Snider’s record (for home runs in a season while) cheating on steroids. It’s just disappointing to me.”
Despite the accusations, Clark said he considered Pujols a friend. Clark added inflammatory comments about former Cardinals and Oakland A’s slugger Mark McGwire, who had admitted to using PEDs. Clark described McGwire as a “creep” and a “lowlife.”
Clark retired from baseball in 1992. He was a four-time All-Star, and hit 340 home runs in his 18-year career.