Peyton Manning and HGH: Nonstory or Cover up?


It is interesting to note that while sports reporters spent months discussing Tom Brady and "deflategate," the story of how Peyton Manning allegedly had HGH delivered to his home against NFL policies quickly disappeared. 


Is it a mission to protect Manning's squeaky clean image? Is it that Manning shares an agent with sportscaster Jim Nantz? Or is it simply that a hot story lost steam when it began to appear fabricated?

In late December, an Al Jazeera investigative report entitled "The Dark Side" alleged that Peyton Manning received illegal shipments of HGH--a substance banned by the NFL's PED (performance enhancing drug) policy. The shipments were delivered to Ashley Manning, Peyton's wife, in her name. 

The allegations came from Charles Sly, a Texas-based pharmacist who said he worked for the Guyer Institute, an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic, in 2011, when Manning was recovering from neck injuries. Sly said that the HGH was delivered to Ashley Manning so that the quarterback "wouldn't be tied to it."

That seems to be a red flag in the story. If you were going to distance yourself from an illegal delivery of drugs, wouldn't you have it delivered somewhere other than your home? Wouldn't you use someone else's name, rather than your closest family member?

The story continued to lose steam after Sly himself recanted, saying that the allegations he made were untrue. Furthermore, the Guyer Institute issued a statement saying that Sly was never an employee of the facility. Instead, he was only an intern spending three months at the Institute in 2013--two years after the HGH was allegedly delivered to Manning's wife.

Some--including Manning adviser Ari Fleischer--accuse Al Jazeera of backpedaling, after reporter Deborah Davies told Today that the organization never accused Peyton Manning of using HGH. Rather, Charles Sly simply stated that HGH was delivered to Ashley Manning. The public drew it's own conclusions, she implies.

Manning called the allegations against him "utter garbage," but did not dispute that his wife received HGH from the Guyer Institute. Instead, he says, the Al Jazeera report was an invasion of his wife's medical history:

"It makes me sick it brings Ashley into it. Her medical history, her medical privacy being violated. That makes me sick. I don’t understand that. It’s not right. I don’t understand it."

But some say the media has been too quick to dismiss the story. After all, says Steve DelVecchio of Larry Brown Sports, Ashley Manning is alleged to have received illegal shipments of illegally prescribed HGH.  Shouldn't that warrant investigation?

Peyton Manning says he "welcomes" an investigation, but critics say that's an easy and empty claim. Mike Florio of NBC Sports says,". . .[I]t’s one thing for Manning to sit down with investigator and reiterate his strong denial of HGH use, and that it’s quite another for Manning and his wife, Ashley, to authorize the Guyer Institute to release all records relating to the treatment Peyton received and whether and how often Ashley received HGH. Without that affirmative cooperation from the Mannings, the league lacks the power to get the information on its own."

Should the NFL launch an investigation into a claim that involves a player's wife? Or would an investigation spawned by a recanted report amount to an incredible invasion of privacy?

Do you think the Peyton Manning HGH saga is simply bad reporting of false claims, or does the situation warrant further investigation?

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