Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has been accused by Al Jazeera of taking HGH in 2011 as part of an undercover probe from an employee named Charlie Sly at the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis (via ESPN):
"“Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has been listed in an Al Jazeera undercover probe as one of several prominent professional athletes who were supplied illegal performance-enhancing drugs from an Indiana-based anti-aging clinic.The documentary, posted online early Sunday morning with it set to air on TV later in the day, reports that Manning was given a supply of human growth hormone in 2011 while he was recovering from surgery that year, from a man identified as a pharmacist employed at the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis. The report cites the pharmacist, Charlie Sly, who allegedly spoke to an undercover reporter working for the network. Sly later recanted his story, first to Al Jazeera and then to ESPN.In the documentary, Sly also mentioned Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman and boxer Mike Tyson as other athletes who received HGH shipments from him while he worked at the Guyer Institute.”"
Of course, during 2011, Manning was still a member of the Indianapolis Colts, as he was recovering from a potentially career-ending neck injury that knocked him out of football that year. The Colts went just 2-14 that season, drafted phenom Andrew Luck with the 1st overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and the rest is history.
Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) walks off the field after the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Denver 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Still, Manning is the best player in Indianapolis Colts franchise history and remains beloved by both the city and its fans. He’s a big reason as to why the Colts are still in Indianapolis, as well as the fact that Lucas Oil Stadium has been constructed.
The all-time quarterback great finished his Colts career completing 4,682 of 7,210 passes for 54,828 passing yards, 399 touchdowns, 198 interceptions, and a passer rating of 94.9 during 14 seasons playing with the team. Manning was a Super Bowl XLI Champion, 4x NFL MVP, 5x 1st-Team All-Pro, and 11x Pro Bowler while with Indianapolis.
Needless to say, he’s an eventual lock to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Colts whenever the 39 year old eventually decides to retire.
However, Manning has since vehemently denied the Al Jazeera report:
"“For the record, I have never used HGH. It absolutely never happened. The whole thing is totally wrong. It’s such a fabrication, I’m not losing any sleep over it, that’s for sure,” Manning told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. “The allegation that I would do something like that is complete garbage and is totally made up,” added Manning. “It never happened. Never. I really can’t believe somebody would put something like this on the air. Whoever said this is making stuff up.”"
Not to mention, his agent Tom Condon has also refuted the report:
"“The allegation reported by Al Jazeera naming Peyton is absolutely false and it recounts behavior and events that never occurred,” said Tom Condon. “The implications suggested by Al Jazeera are outrageous and baseless: their source has already retracted his statements, as well as advised Al Jazeera those statements were meritless.”“Any further reporting of this matter is a retelling of falsehoods and fiction and complicity in the lack of journalistic ethics demonstrated by Al Jazeera.”"
It appears that Sly may have potentially made up some big athlete names in order to throw off the undercover reporters from learning trade secrets of the business–something he has already admitted to:
"“When I was there, I had never seen the Mannings over,” Sly told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. “They were not even living there at the time. Someone who had 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. I was trying to determine whether this guy (Liam Collins) was legitimate or just trying to steal some knowledge about the business.”"
Either way, it’s not positive publicity for Manning. While it looks like he has a strong defense that Al Jazeera’s report is baselesss, it’s easier to make false accusations than it is to typically clear one’s name.