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Paper apologizes 'without reservations'

4/11/2005

ONTARIO, Calif. -- A Southern California newspaper on Sunday
apologized to Bo Jackson and retracted part of a story saying the
former football and baseball star used steroids.

"Jackson has stated publicly he has never used steroids," the
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin said on its Web site. "We retract the
quote and the further statement that the speaker personally
witnessed this damage to his life. We apologize to Mr. Jackson,
without reservation."

In a story published March 24 under sports editor Jim Mohr's
byline, dietary expert Ellen Coleman was quoted as saying she knew
personally that "Bo Jackson lost his hip because of anabolic
abuse."

Jackson responded last week by suing the newspaper, MediaNews
Group Inc., MediaNews Group Interactive, Inc., Mohr and three other
employees for unspecified general and punitive damages in Illinois.

"I've got nothing to hide," Jackson said. "If anyone wants to
check into my medical past, go get blood tests, go check up on
those blood tests and see if there was any anabolic steroids in it.
You're more than welcome."

Jackson's defamation suit would continue, his attorney Dan
Biederman said Sunday, adding that he had no comment on the
newspaper's retraction.

"The statement released today is the first step towards a resolution of this matter," Jackson's attorney Dan Biederman said in a statement to ESPN. "The statement confirms what we knew all along -- Bo Jackson never used steroids. The statement does not change the fact that this reporter printed a reckless lie and must be held accountable. Professional journalistic standards demand that there be controls in place that prevent such a reckless statement to be published across this nation over the internet. Perhaps this reporter and the editors of the newspaper can explain how you un-ring a bell."

Jackson said he found the newspaper's story online. Coleman
later denied making any statements about Jackson.

The newspaper, based about 30 miles east of Los Angeles in
Ontario, didn't immediately respond to messages left Sunday
morning.

Jackson, the only player to be named to the NFL's Pro Bowl and
appear in baseball's All-Star game, injured his hip playing for the
Oakland Raiders in 1991 in a playoff game. He had a hip replacement
the following year.

Jackson, who retired in 1994, is now a businessman who lives in
suburban Chicago. He talks to children about health and nutrition
issues and has denied ever using or even seeing steroids in any
form.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.