When I first heard the rumors that Al Jazeera would be releasing a story that exposed Peyton Manning as having used Human Growth Hormone back in 2011, I was mixed with skepticism and doubt. I know Al Jazeera to be a reputable news source so the logical part of me trusted that they had done their homework and had legitimate reason to believe these claims to be true. Owing it to myself as a fan and spectator on the issue, I watched the 50 minute documentary and here are some of my thoughts .
There’s no doubt these journalists found dirty doctors. Long story short, a former runner trying to break back into the 2016 Olympics does some poking around while wearing a hidden camera and eventually meets this guy Charlie Sly.
It’s pretty unconvincing for a while until Sly starts talking about the different nuances of his dealings with various professional athletes: Who is afraid of using certain drugs, who can’t get enough. It was all just sketchy enough to be believable but my skepticism remained, albeit less. The film built a certain mysticism about a coveted IV called D2, or Delta 2.
It was hard to maintain a doubtful mindset after he walked into a hotel lobby and was met by Taylor Teagarden, a current MLB pitcher. Teegarden talked about using various drugs, both legal and illegal, and gave a very convincing account of his own doubts and reservations about jumping over to “the dark side.”
When it came to Peyton Manning, I no longer saw this guy Sly as an entirely non-credible source. His claim was that he worked as a pharmacy intern at the Guyer Institute in Indiana in 2011 which was while Peyton was receiving treatment there following his neck surgeries.
Al Jazeera confirmed that Sly worked there during this time. However, that point is being challenged. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, a source known to be close with the Manning family, Dr. Guyer has confirmed that Sly was an intern there in 2013, two years after Peyton was receiving treatment. I can’t call either of these sources a liar but they can’t both be right. The truth behind this fact will determine a lot in this case.
Once Sly was informed that his comments were recorded, he recanted them and said that he was trying to “pull one over” on Collins.
Ultimately, I’m not sold that Peyton did this. No one said they injected him. No one saw anyone inject him. The most anyone could say is that Peyton’s wife Ashley received regular shipments of HGH that were really for Peyton: A long shot at best.
At the end of the day, I’m not convinced that Peyton had anything to do with this guy but I also acknowledge the likelihood that they could have crossed paths. Especially if it turns out that he did in fact work at the Guyer Institute in 2011. I just really hope that Al Jazeera has the evidence and money to lawyer-up for all of these slander law suits coming their way. Because if they don’t and these claims turn out to be built on the lies of an international drug smuggler, it’s not good news for their future.