(MLB) - A former Houston gym owner on Monday filed a defamation lawsuit against the reporters and publisher of a book about Roger Clemens, according to multiple sources.
The day before he is scheduled to appear before a grand jury in Washington, D.C., that will hear evidence against Clemens, Kelly Blair filed a suit in a Houston district court naming Michael O'Keefe, Christian Red, Teri Thompson and Nathaniel Vinton, the four New York Daily News reporters who co-authored "American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime," as well as publisher Knopf Doubleday, as defendants.
Also named, according to ESPN.com, was Robin Dobbins, a Houston fitness consultant who Blair claims also was a source of falsehoods printed in the book.
"There are allegations in the book about Kelly Blair that are just completely not true," Houston-based attorney Jason Gibson, who represents Blair, told ESPN.com. "They said he is basically a drug dealer who was running an underground steroid network. There are a number of statements of fact that were made that are false. The only defense to allegations of defamation are that it was true. In this case, it is not true."
According to the ESPN story, the falsehoods listed in the lawsuit are claims that Blair sold steroids to Clemens and current Yankees left- hander Andy Pettitte and that he got drug shipments ready to send to professional athletes.
"We have not received the complaint, but we do stand by our reporting," Thompson told ESPN.com. Min Lee, an attorney for the publisher, told the Web site she was waiting for the complaint to be served and didn't comment further.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.