According to an ESPN report, no new evidence was provided to Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers during their interviews with NFL officials investigating their alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
"It's what we expected," a source close to one of the players texted Packer Report.
Matthews and Peppers were among the prominent players named in “The Dark Side,” an Al-Jazeera America documentary examining the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports that aired late last season. After a talk-or-else ultimatum from the NFL, Matthews and Peppers agreed to meet investigators on Wednesday. Former Packers linebacker Mike Neal, who remains a free agent, was scheduled to talk to investigators on Thursday.
The “star” of the documentary was a man named Charlie Sly, a former intern at an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic. In hidden-camera conversations, Sly said he worked with Neal for several weeks.
“Last year, I went out to Green Bay for like six weeks,” Sly was recorded saying. “I set Mike’s stuff up, but then, like, he started bringing everybody. I’m not even joking. More than half the team started to come by.”
Among those players were Matthews and Peppers.
Sly, however, went to YouTube and posted a denial recanting “any such statements and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al-Jazeera plans to air. Under no circumstances should any of those statements, recordings or communications be aired.”
Because Sly took back all of his allegations, the NFLPA stood in the way of the investigation for as long as possible. Only when the NFL threatened to indefinitely suspend the players for conduct detrimental to the league — not violating the league’s drug policy — did the union and the players give in to the league’s demands.
According to ESPN, the players were “annoyed” that they were being investigated by allegations that had since been recanted.
“I take a lot of pride in the work that I put in and doing it the right way and nothing has changed from my stance now to then,” Matthews said. “It’s upsetting, but it wouldn’t be the first time somebody has said something negative about me, it’s just that now it’s on a much bigger scale and seem to drag on a little bit here. It will be nice when I have my name cleared and we can move on with life. In the meantime, I just kind of put it on the back burner and focus on football.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.