Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning responded to allegations on Saturday that he was supplied with human growth hormone, calling them “complete garbage.”
An investigative report from Al Jazeera named Manning as “one of many high-profile players” linked to the performance enhancing drug trade, alleging the quarterback received HGH from the Guyer Institute, an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis.
“The allegation that I would do something like that is complete garbage and is totally made up,” Manning said in a statement released through the Broncos. “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.”
Manning told The MMQB’s Peter King he will “probably” sue over the report, which he described as “defamation.”
The Al Jazeera report claims Charlie Sly, billed as a pharmacist working at the Guyer Institute, was part of a team helping Manning’s recovery in 2011, when the quarterback would miss the entire season after a fourth neck surgery. The report says Sly, while speaking to an undercover reporter, claimed to send HGH to Manning’s wife Ashley to keep Peyton‘s name out of the transaction.
Sly has since walked back the stories used in the Al Jazeera report, telling ESPN has was an intern as the Guyer Institute in 2013, had never met the Mannings and was purposefully trying to test Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter by feeding him names of athletes.
“When I was there, I had never seen the Mannings ever. They were not even living there at that time," Sly told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. "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.
“When I realized Al Jazeera was using a secret taping and [Liam] Collins as a so-called investigative reporter, I was baffled. I cannot believe that can happen. That’s why I recanted the story. It wasn’t true and I was trying to pull one over on Collins to see if he had any idea of what he was talking about.”
Dr. Dale Guyer released his own statement characterizing Sly’s claims from the report as false.
Manning has hired former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer to handle the fallout from the allegations, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
Manning’s agent reportedly told Al Jazeera in response that the quarterback “has never done what this person is suggesting,” and that “the treatment he received at the Guyer Institute was provided on the advice of his physician and with the knowledge of team doctors and trainers.”
The Indianapolis Colts, whose roster Manning was on in 2011, released a statement in support of the quarterback.
The NFL began testing for human growth hormone in October 2014.