6:56pm: The quarterback told Peter King of TheMMQB.com he will probably sue over these allegations, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk relays. Manning cited anger over this account as the reasoning behind potential litigation, but Florio argues such a course of action would further open up the guarded signal-caller’s private life to scrutiny. In Florio’s mind, the 18-year veteran’s staunch denials intensified the degree the to which American media covered this matter. Such a lawsuit would keep this story going in future news cycles, Florio writes, instead of allowing it to run its course.
11:55am: Manning just completed an interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters, and several prominent journalists have indicated (via Twitter) that they have never seen Manning so angry. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk provides some of the choicest quotes from that interview, in which Manning said he was “angry, furious, [and] disgusted.” Manning added, “[I’m] [s]ickened by it. I’m not sure I understand how someone can make something up about somebody, admit that he made it up, and yet somehow it’s published in a story. I don’t understand that.”
Thus far, the NFL has declined to comment on the documentary, although Barry Svrluga, Mark Maske, and Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post report that the league will investigate all players named in the documentary. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms that report (via Twitter), although La Canfora adds that the fact that Sly has already recanted his story “has not gone unnoticed at the league office” (Twitter link). Per ESPN.com news services, Sly said, “When I was [working at The Guyer Institute], I had never seen the Mannings ever. They were not even living there at that time. Someone who worked there said they had been there before. That was the extent of any knowledge I had. I feel badly. I never saw any files. This is just amazing that it reached this point.”
In the Salters interview, Manning describes the procedures he underwent at The Guyer Institute and says everything was done with the authorization and under the supervision of the Colts’ medical staff. Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post provides more details via Twitter.
10:48am: Within the documentary, pharmacy intern Charlie Sly goes into great detail about his interactions with Manning.
“He’s really cool if you just sit down with him. The first time I met him was at [Dr. Dale Guyer’s office]. He sounded real genuine. He’s like, ‘I really appreciate you guys working with me.’ He sounded real genuine,” Sly said.
Sly also claims that the prescriptions for performance enhancing drugs were actually written out in the name of Peyton’s wife, Ashley.
“Him and his wife would come in after hours and get IVs and [expletive]. One thing that Guyer does is that he dispenses drugs out of his office which physicians can do in the United States, just not that many of them do it. And, all the time, we would be sending Ashley Manning drugs. Like growth hormone, all the time, everywhere…Florida. And it would never be under Peyton’s name, it would always be under her name. We were sending it everywhere.”
Sly also made damning accusations regarding Packers defensive stars Mike Neal, Julius Peppers, and Clay Matthews. The former Guyer Institute employee claimed that Neal started out as a client before getting a great number of his teammates on board.
“Last year I went out to Green Bay for like six weeks. I set Mike’s stuff but then, like, he started bringing everybody..I’m not even joking, more than half the team started to come by,” said Sly, who went on to name Julius Peppers as one of the clients that came to him through Neal. “So, I would do everything, usually at Mike Neal’s house or at Julius’ house.”
The pharmacist said that Peppers takes Delta-2, a substance mentioned frequently throughout the documentary, but “not that often” and maybe as infrequently as “two days a week.” Sly estimated that he has probably talked to about 25 Packers players and “directed like ten of them, twelve of them.” When it came to Delta-2, Sly said that he only pointed them in the right direction to acquire it rather than actually supply those players with it.
While Sly and Collins are chatting, the pharmacist tells Collins that he had just received a text from Matthews asking him for an oral form of Torodol, a powerful anti-inflammatory. Sly also indicates that Matthews has used Ipamorelin, a peptide, and said that he doesn’t believe that he takes HGH “anymore.” He says that Matthews was not among his clients taking Delta-2, however, because he didn’t want to “push the envelope” with Matthews since he is a “high-profile guy.”
9:52am: Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Peyton Manning has retained the services of former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, who now does crisis management work. Rapoport spoke with Fleischer last night, and he was told that Manning has never used HGH, has never failed any league drug tests, and that the Al Jazeera documentary that created a media firestorm yesterday would not affect Manning’s status with the league. Fleischer did say that Manning’s wife, Ashley Manning, was a patient at the anti-aging clinic referenced by the documentary and had a prescription from the clinic, though Fleischer would not say what the prescription was for (Twitter links).
The Broncos, for their part, have stood behind their quarterback, and have released the following statement via the team’s official website:
“Knowing Peyton Manning and everything he stands for, the Denver Broncos support him 100 percent. These are false claims made to Al Jazeera, and we don’t believe the report.
“Peyton is rightfully outraged by the allegations, which he emphatically denied to our organization and which have been publicly renounced by the source who initially provided them.
“Throughout his NFL career, particularly during his four seasons with the Broncos, Peyton has shown nothing but respect for the game. Our organization is confident Peyton does things the right way, and we do not find this story to be credible.”
Rory Parks contributed to this post.