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#pounditFriday, April 16, 2021

Peyton Manning, wife Ashley HGH scandal now brushed aside

Peyton Manning

Less than a month ago, Peyton Manning was caught up in an HGH scandal involving his wife that made headlines for about a week or so. Manning was asked about it, gave his response, and then a few follow-up stories came out over the next few weeks. What’s interesting is how quickly that scandal was seemingly brushed aside, especially with Manning now in the AFC Championship Game. We’re not going to be ones to let it go.

To recap, Al Jazeera had a former hurdler go undercover posing as an athlete trying to make a run at the 2016 Olympic Games. The reporter, Liam Collins, hooked up with a pharmacist, Charlie Sly, who worked at an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis called the Guyer Institute. Sly supposedly told Collins that Manning received HGH shipments to his home under his wife’s name, Ashley, so that he would not be tied to the product. Sly also said that Peyton and wife Ashley would come to the clinic after hours for IV treatments.

When the report came out, Sly, who was unknowingly the source of the report, struck out quickly to deny the charges. Then shortly after the report emerged, news came out that Ashley Manning had a prescription for HGH.

Al Jazeera clarified that they never accused Peyton Manning of using or taking HGH to recover from his neck surgery in 2011, but they stand by their report based on the information from Sly. In fact, they even added that a second source confirmed the report that Manning was sent shipments of HGH.

Ashley Manning also reportedly received the HGH illegally. If she had a medical condition that necessitated HGH treatment, why wouldn’t she just obtain it legally? And wouldn’t the Mannings be more careful knowing that Peyton needed to avoid HGH ties since the substance is banned by the NFL? You would think so.

The scandal has mostly been brushed aside for many reasons. Here are our best guess about why it’s been mostly ignored.

1) People do not trust Al Jazeera. On a basic level, many people are unfamiliar with the reputable news organization. Some even think Al Jazeera sounds like Al Qaeda, and just ignorantly dismiss it because of that.

2) People do not trust the actual report because it’s based on an undercover reporter. Also, the pharmacist (Sly) denied making the comments.

3) People like Peyton so much they simply do not think he can do wrong and therefore do not believe it. Manning has built up a lot of goodwill throughout his two-decade NFL career. He has a great public persona, he seems like a standup guy, and the media loves him. It’s like the Tiger Woods phenomenon; Tiger had such a great image, it took 15-20 people coming out before people were convinced he was cheating. I imagine the same would have to happen for most fans to believe this about Peyton.

4) The last theory for why the story is glossed over is that people don’t care. Football fans have long been unconcerned with PED users, unlike baseball fans. And HGH isn’t even as serious as steroids. That’s even less reason for fans to be concerned.

Some of the people named in the Al Jazeera report are pursuing legal action. It will be difficult for those athletes to prove their cases, but they may be able to get settlements.

We don’t think their report should be dismissed the way so many have done with it.


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