A couple days ago, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was one of a few athletes across American sports to be accused of taking HGH (human growth hormones) in 2011. The report came from Al Jazeera, which is about as credible a news source as I am.
The report, which is a documentary called "The Dark Side," chronicles a months-long investigation by British athlete Liam Collins that talks about using PEDs in global sports. Manning allegedly received these drugs from an Indianpolis anti-aging clinic. These drugs, however, were addressed to Manning's wife, Ashley.
As you would expect, speculation is running rampant. Some have even gone as far as to say if Manning did indeed take HGH, his legacy could take a big hit.
One of Manning's good friends, Tom Brady, is no stranger to controversies related to cheating. The Patriots and future Hall-of-Fame quarterback came to Manning's defense on WEEI this morning.
“Peyton, I would consider him a good friend. You hate to see your good friends go through anything like that,” Brady said. “He’s been a great player for this league, for his teams, for his organizations. He’s been one of the best players to ever play the game. Nobody has more respect for Peyton than I do, and everything that he’s accomplished. There’s always challenging times, but he’s a tough guy. I know that. He’s a very mentally and physically tough guy. … He’s a big boy. He knows how to handle these things.
“I fully support Peyton. My friendship with him over the years, he’s a guy that I can always count on, and has been someone that’s always been so supportive of me. We’ll have lifelong friendships. Truthfully I don’t put much into anything.”
While we're sure Manning appreciates Brady's support, Manning is understandably very angry. Manning said last night on NBC's "Football Night in America" that he wants to sue for defamation.
"Yeah, I probably will. I'm that angry," he said.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio gives a solid, in-depth analysis on why Manning should take his time regarding his potential decision to sue. You can read the full report here.
Here are some of the big takeaways from Florio's piece, some of which may sound similar to Deflategate.
If Manning had said nothing about the allegations, how many mainstream news outlets would have ignored it? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I decided not to mention it until Manning issued a statement denying it. If Manning, the Broncos, the Colts, Manning’s agent, and Dr. Dale Guyer had said nothing, there’s a chance that plenty of media outlets would have said nothing, too.Follow me on Twitter - @JesseGaunce
Before making a final decision on whether he’ll sue Al Jazeera or anyone else, Manning needs to consider the question of whether fighting the charge that publicly does more harm that good by: (1) making more and more people aware of the report; and (2) ensuring that it will remain a periodic part of the NFL news cycle for months.
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