Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will “probably” sue Al Jazeera news network for a report that alleged he used human growth hormone, according to Sports Illustrated writer and NBC Sports contributor Peter King.
“I’m that angry,” King said, relaying Manning’s comments when the former Tennessee quarterback was asked if he would sue Al Jazeera.
King said Manning refused to discuss his wife’s involvement with The Guyer Institute, which is an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis. That could be by design. Manning would be considered a public figure, which would make it difficult to prove defamation. Manning’s wife might not be held to that standard.
Reports surfaced Saturday that Manning had taken HGH while he was recovering from neck surgery that caused him to miss the 2011 NFL season. The report cites a man named Charlie Sly, who was thought to be a pharmacist at The Guyer Institute. Sly has reportedly said since that he was just a student intern at the time and recanted his story, saying that he made up the allegations to impress the reporter, who he thought was interested in buying HGH. Manning said he has never met Sly.
Manning passionately defended himself during an interview with ESPN on Sunday morning.
“It’s completely fabricated,” Manning said. “Complete trash, garbage. There’s some more adjectives I’d like to be able to use, but it really makes me sick.”
The original report alleged that Manning’s wife was the go-between for receiving human growth hormone. Ashley Manning had also reportedly received treatments at the center. Manning said there was “no connection” between his and his wife’s treatment at the facility and that he never took anything intended for her.
“It makes me sick that she was brought into it, her medical history, her privacy being violated,” Manning said. “I don’t understand that.”
Manning flatly denied that he’s ever used HGH or any substance banned by the NFL during his career.
“I had a bad neck and I busted my butt to get healthy… It stings me for whoever this guy is to insinuate that I cut corners, that I broke NFL rules in order to get healthy,” Manning said. “It’s a joke. It’s a freaking joke.”