Peyton Manning Denies Al Jazeera Doping Claims, Considers Lawsuit

Peyton Manning Touchdown Record - H 2014
Associated Press

The Denver Broncos quarterback spoke out against claims of using human growth hormone in an ESPN interview on Sunday.

After Peyton Manning recently dismissed doping claims reported by Al Jazeera as “complete garbage,” the NFL star appeared on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown where he further denied the allegations in an on-camera interview. 

The Denver Broncos quarterback took a break from throwing practice on Sunday to speak with Lisa Salters where he expressed that the doping reports make him feel "sick," and continued to denounce the issue as “garbage,” “trash” and a “joke.” Al Jazeera aired a documentary on Sunday, The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers, that allegedly exposes a doping ring involving major athletes including Manning.

According to the report, an undercover reporter with Al Jazeera secretly recorded pharmacist Charlie Sly confessing that he sent human growth hormone (HGH) and other drugs to Manning’s wife, Ashley Manning. Sly reportedly worked at the Guyer Institute in Indiana where Manning retreated to in 2011 to recover from neck injuries, but Sly told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that he is a pharmacist who never worked at the institute and "made up" his story to the Al Jazeera reporter.

Manning told Sports Illustrated's Peter King he may sue. 

Manning said that he had never met or heard of Charlie Sly and said he was sorry his wife had to be dragged into the situation. 

”Any medical treatments in my life that my wife receives that’s her business,” said Manning about his wife during the interview. “It had nothing to do with me. Nothing that has ever been sent to her or that my wife has used have I ever taken. Absolutely not.”

HGH was on the NFL’s list of banned substances in 2011, but the league didn’t begin testing for it until 2014. Manning expressed that he did receive various treatments at the Guyer Institute, but all were approved by the Indianapolis Colts team whom Manning was with in 2011.

"I went to the Guyer Clinic. He had a hyperbaric chamber that the coach, trainers and doctors thought might be good for me," said Manning. "I don’t know if it helped. It didn’t hurt. Time ended up being part of my best medicine along with a lot of my hard work. It stings me, whoever this guy is, insinuating I cut corners and I broke NFL rules to get healthy. It’s a joke."

Manning went on to list the treatments that he did receive, "Hyperbaric chamber, something called ECCP which is supposed to create blood flow in your muscles. I did all 35 days of an hour treatment, watched Hoda and Kathie Lee during my treatment because I was there during normal business hours at 9 a.m. Eastern time. I did that. I was a good patient. I had some nutrient IV therapies that I did that I thought may help me as well. Everything was under Colts authorization. They knew about it. They went with me. Anything else this guy is insinuating is complete garbage."

The Al Jazeera documentary features months of undercover reporting by Liam Collins, focusing on if athletes are connected to performance-enhancing drugs. Manning’s agent has denied the allegations as well, calling them “outrageous and wrong,” according to the The Huffington Post, and the Denver Broncos stated that they did not find the story to be credible. 

Manning continued to label the allegations as "defamation" during the interview. When asked how he plans to handle the situation, Manning said he was focusing on preparing for his next football game tomorrow night when the Denver Broncos face the Cincinnati Bengals. 

“I plan to go throw today a little bit harder. My ball has some extra heat on it today,” said Manning. "I’ve got some built-up anger as you might understand. I’m trying to do what I can to help the Broncos get a win tomorrow night. I’m moving on. I’m not losing any sleep over this report, this slapstick, lies. I’ll keep my head above it and keep pressing on.”