Peyton Manning was accused of using HGH in an Al Jazeera investigative documentary this past weekend. But, some people in the documentary are now denying what they said in the documentary and it's turned into a big "he said, she said". So I did my own "investigative journalism" and here's what I found out.


First of all, if you're not familiar with the big drama bomb that happen this past weekend, let me fill you in:


Al Jazeera had a special report on PED's (Performance Enhancing Drugs) in sports called "The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers". British hurdler Liam Collins went undercover for a month to try and expose the problem of PED's in sports around the world. He went to various doctor's a specialists and told them that he wanted to compete in the 2016 Rio de Jenero Olympics and needed some "extra help" with training. None of these specialists were told they were being filmed, and none of them found out until the special aired.


On of the specialists that was interviewed was Charlie Sly, who, in 2011, worked at the Guyer-Institute, which is an Indiana based anti-aging clinic. Sly said that he was part of a medical team that helped Manning recover after his neck surgery in 2011, and that they mailed HGH to his home under his wife's name, Ashley Manning, so that Peyton's name wouldn't be attached to the drugs.


Questions: Did Sly and that medical team (if they above story is true) send the HGH to Manning because Manning told him to, or did they send it to him of their own free will as a suggestion in his recovery process? And if it was sent to Manning, where is the proof that he even took the drug? I mean, we all get credit card ads and samples in the mail all the time, it doesn't mean we sign up for every one. Same thing goes for meds. When a doctor suggests you try something, that doesn't mean you HAVE to take it. It's a suggestion. (I'm not saying that you shouldn't listen to your doctor, though. Each medical decision has it's own pros and cons and should be carefully thought out and discussed between you and your doctor.)


Manning denies using any PEDs and/or HGHs in his entire 18 year career in football and with the NFL. And both the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos have released statements supporting Manning and reaffirming the denial of any use of PEDs by him.

Now, according to a statement that the Colts released regarding Manning's drugs use, they say that Sly recanted his story.


"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. Peyton played the game in Indianapolis for 14 years the right way. He never took any shortcuts and it would be absurd to suggest he would have taken prohibited performance enhancing drugs. We also note that the “source” of this allegation has since recanted his story. The entire Indianapolis Colts organization and the Irsay family hope this crude effort to besmirch Peyton’s reputation will not be permitted to tarnish the legacy of a great Colt."

-Avis Roper, Senior Director of Communications for the Colts


But they don't say why Sly recanted. Did he recant it because it was false, and he only said that to Collins in order to try to get him to use HGH? Was he embarrassed after he found out he was being filmed saying that and didn't want to be associated with an NFL drug scandal? Or was he paid by the NFL to recant?


Regardless of why Sly recanted, here's what I know for certain...


Since being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1998, Peyton Manning (to the best of my knowledge) has passed all his drug tests with flying colors.

The NFL deemed HGH a PED in 1991, BUT, they did not begin testing players for HGH until Oct. 2014.

In October 2006, Manning injured his neck during the Colts game against the Washington Redskins (who seriously still need to change their name. I don't care about tradition. It's super racist.) when he was hit by Andre Carter and Daniel Phillips, causing Manning to lose his helmet, and pulling his body into a painful position. He sat out for a few plays, but then went back into the game and threw 244 years and 3 touchdowns.

From that game until 2010, Manning had some on-again off-again troubles with his neck, but nothing major that would cause concern.

In September 2010, Manning was injured during practice before week one. This was the straw that broke the camels back. His slight neck pains from previous years turned into significant disc and nerve damage that progressively got worse during the Colts 2010 season and greatly affected his performance.

In 2011, Manning had two noninvasive surgeries and surgical fusion of two discs in his neck to prevent further damage to his nerves. Dan Orlovski and Curtis Painter took the roles of the Colts QB that season while Manning recovered and coached from the sidelines.

The 2011-12 season for Peyton Manning was a rough one. Not only did he have three neck surgeries, but because of his age and time in the league people were using his neck injury and surgeries to try to pressure him to retire fro the NFL. Also, the Colts had the decision to either keep Manning, and subsequently pay him a $28 million bonus, or let him go on to become a free agent. And they had to make this decision by March 8th of 2012, while Manning was still in the midst of recovery. (Neck fusion surgery can take anywhere from a month to a full year to recover from).

The Colts chose to let him become a free agent for the 2012-13 season, where he was picked up by the Denver Broncos. And, while this saddened me, it was a smart move by the Colts in a sense that if they would have kept him, he would have pushed himself so hard to be ready for the next season and prove to everyone that he was "back and better than ever" and not ready to retire. He wouldn't have given himself the proper time to recover and could have injured himself even further.

By being picked up by Denver, his priorities changed. Instead of trying to be "back and better than ever" he had to focus on a new team, who had new strategies, and different ways of working. It was more of a focus on getting into a new flow of things and seeing how all his new teammates worked together and becoming a part of that. Which, in my opinion, was a better option when it came to his health and recovery.



The use of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) after a surgery can reduce the recovery period by half.

HGH is considered sports medicine (excluding the NFL, who put HGH on their PED list in 1991) because it can accelerate recovery time and strengthen ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

It is known to build muscle mass and strengthen muscles, even with no exercise.

HGH is excellent for surgical recoveries, especially those that are for or near joints.

However, the NFL had to ban HGH because athletes were using it for non-surgical purposes. (Helping to recover faster after a strenuous workout, eliminating fatigue after said workout, building muscle, stamina, strengthening muscle...) The misuse of HGH by athletes turned it into a PED and has it being frowned upon now.



Peyton Manning had his neck surgeries in 2011, BEFORE HGH was tested for by the NFL.

IF Peyton did use HGH in his recovery process, it was not tested for by the NFL at the time BUT he would have been using it for it's proper surgical recovery use and not as a PED. HOWEVER, when the NFL put HGH on it's PED list it did not specify whether or not the drug was legal/or illegal depending upon how it was used. It is deemed illegal if it is used AT ALL, regardless if it is being used properly.


That's all IF's though. He deny's any use and explains all accusations brought up in the Al Jazeera report in his interview with ESPN.


What are your opinions on the situation? Did he do it? Did he not do it? Or is everyone just blowing this way out of proportion?

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