NFL Clears Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers

The two defensive stalwarts were named in a documentary about performance-enhancing drug use in sports.

More than eight months after the debut of the Al-Jazeera America documentary “The Dark Side” implicated Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers for using performance enhancing drugs, the NFL on Wednesday cleared the Green Bay Packers’ outside linebackers.

In a press release, the NFL stated: “The NFL found no credible evidence that (they) were provided with or used substances prohibited under the NFL-NFLPA Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances following a comprehensive investigation into allegations made in a documentary by Al-Jazeera America.”

Also cleared was Pittsburgh’s James Harrison. Those three players were interviewed by league investigators at their teams’ headquarters last week.

Podcast: Our last word (thankfully) on the documentary

The investigation was spurred by the documentary’s hidden-camera recordings of Charlie Sly, a former intern at an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis. Sly named numerous athletes in those videos, including Peyton Manning, Matthews and Peppers. Sly later recanted everything he said in those recordings.

The other player forced to interview with investigators, former Packers linebacker Mike Neal, remains under investigation. In the video, Sly said he and Neal worked together for six weeks. Neal then allegedly introduced Sly to other members of the Packers, including Peppers and Matthews.

The investigation began in January and, the NFL stated, included “witness interviews, a review of relevant records and other materials, electronic research, and laboratory analysis and review.”

Bill Huber is publisher of and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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