Monday, December 28, 2015

Peyton Manning and the HGH Saga

In a story first reported by an Al Jazeera undercover probe, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has been linked to human growth hormones, drugs that are illegal to use according to NFL rules. Manning reportedly received the human growth hormones through the mail in 2011 in the name of his wife, Ashley, to avoid having his name tied up with the shipments. The entirety of the report stems from a man named Charlie Sly, a former intern at the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis whose story continues to change. Since the story first broke, Sly claimed that he was not present at the company in 2011, as the report originally stated, but Al Jazeera released a video proving that Sly did in fact work there in 2011. Sly later recanted his story to Al Jazeera upon the realization that much of the information he had used was made up when talking with the undercover reporter.

As seen in the video below, Peyton Manning responded to these comments in an ESPN video, where his anger and frustration are almost palpable to the viewer. Meaning refers to Sly as "slapstick" numerous times, and uses strong words like "disgusted" when describing his views on this "false" report.

Yet the story can not be fully ruled out yet. While some ESPN analysts have been surprisingly quick to jump to Manning's defense, the NFL has announced they will investigate the Manning controversy: "We are reviewing the matter," said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. "Our procedure is to follow up on any information that potentially involves a violation of this nature." It is not too egregious to argue that Manning may have in fact used performance enhancers, since at the time in 2011, Manning looked to bounce back from a neck injury that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. Coincidentally, the quarterback managed to have his best statistical season of his career just two years later, causing skeptics online to argue that this type of drastic turnaround must have been assisted by HGH.
So did Peyton Manning utilize human growth hormones in an effort to bounce back from injury? As we learned with the Tom Brady and the Deflategate saga, it is important to be open-minded until more information is released rather than jump to rash conclusions. Right now, all we can do is wait.

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