A former pharmacist at an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic has tied Peyton Manning to the use of human growth hormone (HGH)—a performance enhancing drug (PED) banned by the NFL—according to a damning documentary from Al Jazeera. Manning was among several high level professional athletes identified by the report.
The documentary, called "The Dark Side," was the result of an eight-month-long investigation in which 37-year-old British hurdler Liam Collins went undercover to meet with medical professionals affiliated with PEDs, telling them he wanted a shot at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Here is the full, 49-minute report:
In 2011, Collins met with pharmacist Charlie Sly, previously with the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis, where he said he was a part of a team that helped Manning recover from a neck surgery that kept him out for the season. Sly claimed that their medical team would send HGH to Manning's wife Ashley in order to obfuscate the connection.
"All the time we would be sending Ashley Manning drugs," Sly says in the video. "Like growth hormone, all the time, everywhere, Florida. And it would never be under Peyton's name, it would always be under her name."
Responding to the damning accusations, Manning released a statement flat-out denying his connection with HGH.
Moreover, the Colts have come out with a statement refuting the accusations, stating that they were thoroughly informed about all steps of Manning's medical treatment in Indianapolis, emphasizing that Sly recanted his statement.
Sly released a YouTube video yesterday, claiming that his statements in Al Jazeera's investigation are "absolutely false," and that "under no circumstances should any of those statements, recordings, or communications be aired." Sly also claims that the undercover videos were made without his consent and that Collins is tied to financial fraud, implying that his accounts are untrustworthy.
Other athletes identified in the video (Complex Sports) as using PEDs include:
- Former Heavyweight Champ of the World Mike Tyson
- Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (linked to painkillers, not HGH or Delta-2)
- Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard
- Nationals first/third baseman Ryan Zimmerman
- Former Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller
- Packers linebacker Mike Neal (Delta-2)
- Packers linebacker Julius Peppers (Delta-2)
- Steelers linebacker James Harrison (Delta-2)
According to Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports, lawyers for both Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman are already threatening to sue Al Jazeera—likely for defamation. Defamation law, however, would require that public figures like professional athletes would need to prove that Al Jazeera acted with actual malice, meaning that they knew that the information was false before airing it. You should expect some extensive investigation—be it Al Jazeera, or otherwise—to tie up loose ends in the coming days.
[h/t Huffington Post]