Al Jazeera is again claiming that former NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning’s lawyer, confirmed that the player used performance-enhancing drugs.
Manning denies the charges.
In a 2015 broadcast, Al Jazeera charged that Manning used the PED called HGH and that the drug had been shipped to his home and addressed to his wife. However, The Hollywood Reporter has claimed that newly released court documents state that Al Jazeera insists it was the Manning’s own lawyers who confirmed that the player did use the drugs.
The documents were released as part of a lawsuit filed by baseball pros Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard who were also accused of using PED’s in the Al Jazeera documentary entitled, The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers.
Also in the 2015 film, a man named Charlie Sly claimed that he witnessed Manning and his wife receiving treatments at the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis. Sly claimed that the institute’s Dr. Dale Guyer sent the Mannings human growth hormone always addressed to Ashley Manning, the player’s wife. According to the court documents, Al Jazeera insists that Manning’s lawyers confirmed the claims made in the film.
Sly later recanted his claims against the Mannings, but Al Jazeera said Sly’s second thoughts were coerced and only came after representatives of the Mannings had visited him.
Per the Hollywood Reporter:
‘In their communications with DWT [lawfirm Davis Wright Tremaine], the Mannings’ lawyers confirmed much of what Sly had said,’ states unsealed court papers, although what was exactly said by Olson remains redacted.
In another part of the report, documents showed that Al Jazeera claimed that Manning’s lawyers were also “[t]he second, corroborating source for some of Sly’s statements was the Mannings, who voluntarily communicated facts to Al Jazeera through their lawyers at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.”
Al Jazeera went on to claim it had a second source close to the Mannings who also confirmed the HGH use, but that source was kept anonymous. Though, it appears this claim was also one of the Manning lawyers.
However, the Mannings have again forcefully denied all these allegations. The couple sent a statement to the west coast entertainment paper pointing out, among other things, that the NFL investigated all these charges and found no basis for them.
Al Jazeera’s self-serving claim that Peyton Manning’s attorneys ‘confirmed’ Al Jazeera’s allegations about Peyton Manning is absolutely false. In fact, information was provided to Al Jazeera that confirmed the Al Jazeera allegations about Peyton Manning were unfounded. In addition, the sole source for Al Jazeera’s allegations has publicly recanted them. Moreover, the NFL conducted an extensive investigation of the claims raised in Al Jazeera’s programs and found no evidence to support them. This is a desperate move by Al Jazeera to distract the courts from its own wrongdoing.
The release of the documents comes on the heels of a federal court refusing Al Jazeera’s request to throw the case out. In March a federal judge allowed the case to enter the discovery phase as both sides began gathering documents to prove their case.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.