Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Roberto Alomar denies illness claims
ESPN.com news services
Roberto Alomar said Wednesday that he is in good health, a response to allegations made in a civil suit against him in which a former girlfriend claims he insisted on unprotected sex for four years despite having AIDS.
"This is a very private, personal matter and I greatly appreciate all the support I have received in the past few days from my family, friends and colleagues in baseball," the former All-Star second baseman said in a statement. "I am in very good health and I ask that you respect my privacy during this time."
Ilya Dall, a former girlfriend of Roberto Alomar, filed a civil suit Jan. 30 alleging that Alomar demanded unprotected sex with her despite showing obvious signs of AIDS, and that the 41-year-old Alomar later tested positive for the disease. Dall has not tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. She is seeking at least $15 million in damages.
"As for the lawsuit, it is filled with lies and I am deeply saddened that someone I cared for would make such terrible accusations and try to hurt me in this way," Alomar said in his statement.
Earlier Wednesday, his father told ESPN that Roberto is not ill.
"The only thing that I can tell you is that this is news to us," Sandy Alomar Sr. said. "When a person is sick like that, wouldn't he have to be in the hospital? I haven't seen my son sick like that. I am confident that he is fine.
"We are a family. We are very close, a family that is united. I am sure my son is fine. Other than that, we are going to let the lawyers handle it."
Alomar Sr. said he saw his son on Monday when Roberto ended a visit with the family.
"He was well. He wasn't sick," Alomar Sr. told ESPN.
Alomar was honored before the Toronto Blue Jays home opener in April and showed no obvious signs of health problems.
Alomar lawyer Charles Bach told the New York Daily News the allegations are "frivolous and baseless."
Alomar spent 17 years in the major leagues and was one of baseball's best players in the 1990s, making 12 straight All-Star appearances and winning two World Series with the Blue Jays.
A career .300 hitter with 10 Gold Gloves, Alomar broke in with the San Diego Padres in 1988 and also played for the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox. He last played in the majors in 2004.
One of the most memorable moments of Alomar's career came in 1996, when he became enraged after a third strike and spit on umpire John Hirschbeck. He drew a five-game suspension that was later overturned.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.