The NFL says it found no credible evidence that Peyton Manning was
provided with human growth hormone or other prohibited substances
as alleged in a documentary by Al-Jazeera America last year.
The league said the quarterback and his wife, Ashley, fully
cooperated in the seven-month investigation, providing interviews
and access to all records sought by investigators.
The NFL is continuing its investigation into allegations made
against other NFL players in the documentary, which the league said
involves ”different lines of inquiry and witnesses.” Those other
players – all of them linebackers – provided the league with sworn
affidavits, but the NFL wants to interview them in person.
In stark contrast, Manning, who retired a month after Denver’s
24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50, welcomed the probe.
In December, Al-Jazeera reported that an intern at an Indianapolis
anti-aging clinic was secretly recorded suggesting that Manning’s
wife received deliveries of HGH in 2011 while the quarterback was
recovering from neck fusion surgery. The intern, Charles Sly,
recanted his statements, which were recorded without his knowledge.
He said they were fabricated in an attempt to impress a potential
Manning angrily denounced the report, calling it ”completely
fabricated, complete trash, garbage,” and insisting he never took
shortcuts in his return to football after missing 2011 with neck
At the time the allegations were levied, both the Broncos and the
Colts, whom Manning played for from 1998-2011, issued statements in
support of the five-time MVP.
Manning said he sought holistic treatments such as hyperbaric
oxygen and nutrient therapy at the Guyer Institute of Molecular
Medicine with knowledge and consent of the Colts training and
medical staff following his four neck surgeries. He insisted he
never used performance-enhancing substances and never took anything
sent to his wife.
HGH is banned by professional sports leagues and is only legal to
prescribe in a few specific medical conditions.
The NFL and players union added human growth hormone testing to the
collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011, but the sides
didn’t agree to testing terms until 2014. Nobody has tested
positive, which would trigger a four-game suspension.
The Al-Jazeera report alleged other high-profile athletes obtained
PEDs, including baseball stars Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia
Phillies and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals.
The report also named four other prominent NFL players: Clay
Matthews and Julius Peppers of the Green Bay Packers, James
Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers and free agent Mike Neal.
Unlike Manning, those four players don’t want to talk to NFL
The NFLPA released a statement Monday saying: ”As a former player,
Peyton Manning is free to do whatever he believes is in his best
interest. The Union knows that he understands the rights of players
under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and would never do
anything to hurt or undermine active players in support of those