The man who claimed in an Al Jazeera documentary that an Indiana clinic supplied Peyton Manning with human-growth hormone now says that he lied—and did so to defraud a person he calls a “fraudster.”
“Another time that I worked with Peyton, him and his wife would come in after hours and get IVs and s—,” Charlie Sly says in a secret recording. “All the time we would be sending growth hormone, all the time, everywhere.” Based on such statements, The Dark Side: The Secret World of Sports Doping announces “extraordinary claims that raise questions whether an American sporting hero, Peyton Manning, is linked to performance-enhancing drugs.”
But Manning denies it, the clinic that treated him denies it, and even the man heard on Al Jazeera making the “extraordinary” claims denies it.
“It has come to my attention that the broadcaster Al Jazeera has somehow obtained recordings or communications of me making statements concerning a number of athletes, and that Al Jazeera plans to air a program about them,” Sly explained in a YouTube video. “Any recordings of me were made without my knowledge or consent. It is my belief that an individual named Liam Collins secretly made those recordings. Liam is a recruited fraudster who is banned in his native United Kingdom from running any investment businesses. The statements on any recordings or communications that Al Jazeera plans to air are absolutely false and incorrect.”
Collins, a track-and-field athlete, claims he took part in the undercover operation to clean up sports. But by using a green athlete rather than a seasoned reporter, Al Jazeera may find themselves cleaned out defending lawsuits from the many athletes named in the program. Sly says he lied to Collins in a feeling-out process to see if the athlete going into the same business would rip him off. Collins’ past troubles, he says, put him on guard and made it necessary to feed him false information.
“To be clear: I am recanting any such statements and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air,” Sly said on YouTube. “Under no circumstances should any of those statements, recordings or communications be aired.”
Whether Sly even worked at Indiana’s Guyer Institute when he supposedly supplied drugs to Peyton Manning and his wife remains a major point of dispute between Al Jazeera and its detractors. Al Jazeera says it possesses proof that Sly worked there as a medical intern in 2011. The anti-aging clinic says Sly did not work there until 2013, making it impossible for him to have been a party to any scheme to supply Manning or his wife with illegal drugs. The Guyer Institute released a statement knocking holes in the Al Jazeera story:
Statement by Dr. Dale Guyer of The Guyer Institute: pic.twitter.com/FQ85Z211cu
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) December 27, 2015
Others not vested in the story have come out swinging for Manning, an athlete with a stellar reputation both on and off the field.
“I love Peyton Manning, I mean, I think he’s a real man and a real credit to the game of football,” former Bears and Saints coach Mike Ditka explained. “Here’s the thing that bothers me: Al Jazeera is not a credible news organization. They’re out there spreading garbage. That’s what they do, yet we give them credibility by talking about it. They’re garbage. That’s what they are.”