They say retirement is when things are supposed to get less stressful. In Peyton Manning’s case, he would probably agree to disagree. He played most of his 18 years in the NFL as the poster boy for doing everything the right way. Then, as his last season came to a close he saw himself amid much controversy. These incidents included a PED scandal and a sexual harassment scandal dating back to his days at the University of Tennessee. While the sexual harassment scandal may have been forgotten, it was at least reported on when it happened back in 1996. The PED scandal was news to everyone, however, and brought to light by a report on the now defunct Al Jazeera America.
The report surfaced December 27th, 2015 in The dark side: The secret world of sports doping. It implies that Manning used PEDs to come back from his neck injury that robbed him of the entire 2011 season. It also goes so far as saying that Manning’s wife, Ashley Manning, was the one that supplied him with the human growth hormone. Manning was quick to go on ESPN to deny the claims. He also mentioned that the fact that his wife was implemented in the story made him sick.
Peyton Manning can rest easier now that the NFL cleared him of any wrongdoing today. The report came under fire almost immediately after it was released as its primary credible source, Charlie Sly, recanted his statement. Sly was unaware that he was being filmed during his interview with Liam Collins. He has since said that he was not in any state of mind to talk on such matters due to the death of his fiancée, which was mentioned later in the same Al Jazeera report.
Though Peyton Manning’s name has been cleared, there still remain several players that were mentioned in the report that the NFL have not cleared. Some of these names include Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews, and James Harrison. It would make sense that if the allegations against Manning were false, so too would the allegations against these men be false. Still, the NFL has said that these players will have to cooperate with the ongoing investigations fully until the process is complete for each individual.