Al-Jazeera asking judge to dismiss players' defamation suits

WASHINGTON (AP) Al-Jazeera America is asking a judge to dismiss defamation lawsuits filed by two Major League Baseball players over statements made in the broadcaster's documentary about performance-enhancing drugs in sports.

Lawyers for the news organization and for Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals and Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies were scheduled to appear Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington. The suits refer to the documentary ''The Dark Side: Secrets of Sports Doping,'' broadcast by Al-Jazeera America in December 2015.

The suit alleges a pharmacist who appeared in the documentary made false statements when he said Zimmerman and Howard took banned performance-enhancing drugs.

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

Each suit seeks unspecified damages. Neither player was expected in court.