The story was an unprofessional take-down piece to begin with, so I won't recount every detail of the HGH allegations Al Jazeera hurled at five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning last year.
The NFL investigated the situation and has exonerated Manning of any and all wrong-doing. The man did not dope coming off his four neck surgeries.
Here's the league office's press release:
Following a comprehensive seven-month investigation into allegations made in a documentary by Al-Jazeera America, the NFL found no credible evidence that Peyton Manning was provided with or used HGH or other substances prohibited by the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, it was announced today.
The Mannings were fully cooperative with the investigation and provided both interviews and access to all records sought by the investigators.
Initiated in January, the investigation was led by the NFL’s security and legal teams with support from expert consultants and other professionals. The investigation involved witness interviews, a review of relevant records and other materials, online research, and laboratory analysis and review.
Separately, the NFL’s investigation continues into the documentary’s allegations made against other NFL players, which involve different lines of inquiry and witnesses.
What really frustrated the Sheriff was the fact that the Al Jazeera report dragged his wife, Ashley, into the mess. The Mannings are intensely private and Peyton tries to shield his wife from media scrutiny wherever possible.
I can still picture that interview Peyton gave, vehemently denying the allegations, shaking and almost choking with rage as he did so.
The NFL Players Association said this in a statement:
As a former player, Peyton Manning is free to do whatever he believes is in his best interest. The Union knows that he understands the rights of players under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and would never do anything to hurt or undermine active players in support of those rights.
Manning has stated that he has no plans to sue for libel. But, if he chose to do so, perhaps a court, or jury, would find merit in his cause.
With this unfortunate story now in his rear-view, Peyton can get back to enjoying his retirement as a World Champion and future Hall of Famer.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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