Speaking over the phone to Peter King of TheMMQB.com on Sunday, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning once again strongly denied allegations connecting him to HGH, which surfaced in an Al Jazeera documentary.
“I can promise you this is a total fabrication,” Manning said. “I simply do not understand how somebody makes up something like this and it becomes a story. And then the guy (Charles Sly) admits he made it up and it’s still a story. How exactly does that work?”
As King and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk both detail, one primary point of contention between Al Jazeera and Manning’s camp is the timeline for when Sly was employed at Indianapolis’s Guyer Institute, which allegedly sent HGH to Manning’s wife. Founder Dale Guyer insists that Sly was never an employee, and only served as an intern in 2013, well after Manning was treated at the facility. However, reporter Deborah Davies is adamant that a transcript of a phone conversation she had with the clinic reveals that Sly began working there in October 2011.
The uncertainty surrounding Sly’s time at the Guyer Institute isn’t the only item related to the report that’s worth passing along today. Here are a few more:
- As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, the NFL had no real jurisdiction over players during the four-month lockout in 2011, and didn’t even didn’t test for HGH until September 2014. As such, even if Manning or other players did use certain PEDs, they may not have violated any league policies.
- In a separate piece at Pro Football Talk, Florio wonders if Manning shouldn’t have simply gone the “no comment” route when these allegations surfaced, rather than extending the news cycle with his repeated, forceful denials. Florio also points out that Manning may not want to sue over the Al Jazeera report – as the quarterback suggested on Sunday that he might – since that process would mean making his private life public. For his part, Steelers linebacker James Harrison – who was also named in the report – said he looked into pursuing legal action, but decided it wouldn’t be worth it monetarily, tweets Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links) points out that Manning made his visits to the Guyer Institute accompanied by Colts medical people, making it unlikely that the alternative treatment he received there violated any laws or NFL policies.
- According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), the NFL is getting pressured to take these allegations seriously and devote resources to investigating them. After all, the NFL dedicated significant time and energy to the Deflategate allegations, treating them with at least as much weight as PED allegations, so the league will face scrutiny if it doesn’t do the necessary legwork to look into the latest accusations.