Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a performance-enhancing substance that would give athletes an illegal advantage over their competition. The National Football League banned the usage of HGH in 2011 for all players, but ironically did not start testing for drug until 2014.
A report by the television group Al-Jazeera broke headlines last week for its accusations of professional athletes in the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the Olympics who participated in using HGH.
Among others accused was none other than Super Bowl 50 champion, Peyton Manning.
Manning reportedly took the drug in 2011 when he missed the entire NFL season due to multiple neck injuries. At the time, Manning played for the Indianapolis Colts and allegedly received the human growth hormones from Charlie Sly, pharmacist who formerly worked at an Indiana anti-aging clinic that year. The report claims that Sly mailed HGH and other hormones to Manning’s wife, Ashley.
Manning is a legend on the football field and a global sports icon. He is the face of the NFL and his presence is felt across America as he is seen in commercials for State Farm and Papa John’s. His father Archie is an NFL Hall of Famer. His younger brother Eli is a Super Bowl champion for the New York Giants. It is baffling to some that a man of such stature and royalty could be deemed a cheater.
However, there is actually some substance here. As Manning obviously denounced the accusation, so too did the Indianapolis Colts (Manning’s former team), the Denver Broncos (Manning’s current team) and his father, Archie. It is no surprise that ESPN is in support of Manning and his reputation as well.
What is surprising is that Sly, Manning’s accuser, recently renounced his claims against him. Also highly questionable is that former Major League Baseball catcher Taylor Teagarden, one of the accused athletes, admitted on camera that he had taken HGH. If there is truth in these reports, as history reveals all too well, I can’t help but wonder how much Peyton Manning and his people are paying off Charlie Sly to keep his mouth shut.
In 2014, Alex Rodriguez, one of the most well-known baseball players of this generation, finally gave in to an accusation that he had taken HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs. For 21 months he stood by his innocence that these claims were not true, but finally under oath came clean about his cheating. To see an iconic athlete lie about cheating for almost two years reveals that the truth will always come out in one way or another.
Because history is bound to repeat itself, it is only natural to look for patterns of previous stories and link them to current ones. There seem to be a lot of running parts in this Al-Jazeera claim. It will be interesting to see how this story transpires.