Judge: 2 athletes can pursue suit against Al Jazeera

WASHINGTON (AP) A federal judge says two Major League Baseball players can go ahead with their lawsuit on claims that an Al Jazeera documentary defamed them by linking them to performance-enhancing drugs.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled Friday that the lawsuit by Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals and former Philadelphia Phillies player Ryan Howard can proceed.

The players sued after Al Jazeera aired the documentary ''The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers'' in December 2015.

In the documentary, a pharmacist who was filmed covertly says Zimmerman and Howard took banned performance-enhancing drugs. The pharmacist later recanted and each player denied taking banned substances. Their denials are noted in the documentary.

Major League Baseball investigated the allegations and found no violations of its drug agreement.

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