Ever since December, when Al Jazeera published a report alleging that Peyton Manning's wife received HGH throughout 2011, when Manning was rehabbing from neck surgery, rumors have swirled around the retired superstar about steroid use. Because HGH (human growth hormone) is banned by the NFL and is only prescribed in a few select circumstances, on the surface there was no good reason for Ashley Manning to be receiving mailed shipments of the drug. However, after a lengthy NFL investigation, Manning was cleared this morning of any wrongdoing. In fact, the intern who originally made the allegations, Charles Sly, took back his statements, saying he made them up and wasn't aware they were being recorded. The league also claims it looked into the Mannings' medical documents and "found no credible evidence" to support the report.
While this is certainly great news for Manning, it doesn't absolve other players named in the report. Packers Julius Peppers and Mike Neal, along with Steeler James Harrison, are all still under investigation about their role in the report. And while this may be one black mark off Manning's record, sexual assault allegations from his time at Tennessee are still unresolved. And perhaps most interesting of all, this whole investigation was kept virtually under wraps for months--no false leaks, no bad science, no "conduct detrimental to the league" of any sort. Isn't it interesting how the same standard didn't apply to Tom Brady?
Manning being cleared is a good sign for the other players named in the report, but they're not out of the woods yet. We'll see what happens to them as soon as the league releases the results--probably sometime during training camp.
Photo courtesy ESPN
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