Nearly as fast as the report surfaced on Saturday night it was shot down by nearly everyone.
A report by Al Jazeera includes a secret recording of Charles Sly, who claims to have helped Manning and other NFL and Major League Baseball players get steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. The report, called “The Dark Side,” was made available online Sunday and scheduled to be broadcast on its TV networks later in the day.
Manning was on ESPN on Sunday and he denied the allegations.
“I can’t speak for any other athlete,” Manning said on ESPN. “I know what I’ve done, I know how hard I’ve worked in my 18 years of playing in the NFL. There are no shortcuts in the NFL. I’ve done it the long way, I’ve done it the hard way. And to insinuate anything otherwise is a complete and total joke, it’s defamation and it really ticks me off.”
The Colts stood with Manning, even though the allegation is that Manning took Human Growth Hormone (HGH) while recovering from neck surgery with the team. They wrote in part, “We’ve been made aware of the recent Al Jazeera report concerning Peyton Manning and find it utterly ridiculous. We are thoroughly familiar with Peyton’s tireless work habits, his medical history, and, most importantly, his integrity.”
The Broncos, too, took aim at the report, writing in part, “Knowing Peyton Manning and everything he stands for, the Denver Broncos support him 100 percent. These are false claims made to Al Jazeera, and we don’t believe the report. Peyton is rightfully outraged by the allegations, which he emphatically denied to our organization and which have been publicly renounced by the source who initially provided them.”
Sly made a YouTube video on Saturday night to address the report, and said, “Any recordings of me were made without my knowledge or consent.”
Sly later said in the video, “To be clear, I am recanting any such statements and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air.”
You can watch it here:
As for what Sly said in the Al Jazeera program, you can watch it here and it’s pretty clear that he says some damning stuff. Whether any of it is true is another matter.