Peyton Manning Doping Accusations: Al Jazeera Claims Second Source

Even as Peyton Manning is celebrating the Broncos' comeback win over the San Diego Chargers yesterday, which secured a number 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs for his team, controversy continues to swirl around allegations that he used human growth hormones during his recovery from 2011 neck surgeries.

The latest development: Al Jazeera, the network whose report about sports doping, dubbed "The Dark Side," contained the original accusations against Manning, claims a second, anonymous source supports its reporting — an assertion necessitated by the recanting of the named person who first pointed the finger at the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

Al Jazeera maintains that HGH was shipped on multiple occasions to Manning's wife, Ashley, from The Guyer Institute in Indianapolis, where he was treated four years ago.

How has Manning responded to the allegations? Passionately, as is clear from this excerpt from the text version of the updated Al Jazeera piece:
Manning in an interview on Sunday on ESPN emphatically denied that he has ever used performance-enhancing drugs. He also said he is "sick" that his wife, Ashley, "is being brought into this."

Regarding his treatment in 2011 for a severe neck injury, the Denver Broncos player said: "I busted my butt to get healthy.

"Time and hard work was my best medicine," Manning said. "It stings me [that] whoever this guy is says that I cut corners, I broke rules to get healthy."

Manning said he used a hyperbaric chamber, received 35 days of treatment to enhance blood flow in his muscles, and had nutrient therapies. "All under coach authorization," he said. "Anything else this guy is insinuating is complete garbage."

In a statement, the Broncos said: "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."

Dr Dale Guyer, the head of the Guyer Institute in Indiana, where Manning received treatments, also denied the allegations in a statement to sports website Bleacher Report on Sunday.

Trouble mounted for Al Jazeera after Charlie Sly, identified in "The Dark Side" as a pharmacist, took back statements that The Guyer Institute shipped HGH to Ashley "all the time, everywhere," telling ESPN that his main association with the facility had been his work as a paid intern in 2013, two years after the period during which Manning's neck surgeries took place.

But rather than retracting the story, Al Jazeera is doubling down.

In an interview with CNN, Al Jazeera reporter Deborah Davies says "we had a second source" regarding the information about Manning and HGH — someone she describes as "absolutely impeccably placed, knowledgeable and credible," albeit unnamed.

Look below to see "The Dark Side," followed by the CNN piece.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts