Once again, Peyton Manning is not happy with the rumors surrounding him. After dispelling claims he would not accept a role as the Broncos’ back-up quarterback, Manning now finds himself amidst human growth hormone (HGH) accusations.
An Al Jazeera report identified Manning as someone who accepted the performance enhancing drug to help recover from neck surgery in 2011. The segment claimed Manning had the substances mailed to his wife, and that this was a common practice done by many high-profile athletes.
Manning has vehemently denied the accusations, saying, “What hurts me the most about this, whoever this guy is, this slapstick trying to insinuate that in 2011, when more than less I had a broken neck — I had four neck surgeries. … It stings me whoever this guy is to insinuate that I cut corners, I broke NFL rules in order to get healthy. It’s a joke. It’s a freaking joke.”
This “slapstick” Manning is referring to is a man reports have identified as Charlie Sly, a former intern at the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis where Peyton rehabbed. Sly has since recanted his story, claiming it was “made up” and that he wasn’t aware he was speaking to an undercover reporter for Al Jazeera.
But even despite Sly’s admission of fabricating the story, the story was still published. When asked how he feels, Peyton explained, “I think I rotated between being angry, furious. Disgusted is really how I feel, sickened by it. I’m trying to understand how someone can make something up about somebody, admit that he made it up and yet somehow it gets published in a story. I don’t understand that.”
Unfortunately for Manning, no one can explain the situation he now finds himself in. With all of the frustration this season from his on-field play and off-the-field rumors, Peyton’s only sense of justice would be to return from his current foot injury, play efficient football, and lead his Denver Broncos squad to its first Super Bowl since 1999.