NEW YORK - The TV Network that aired a report linking Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning to human growth hormone is shutting down.
The New York Times reported that cable news channel Al Jazeera America is shutting down by the end of April.
The Times said Al Jazeera America’s chief executive, Al Anstey, sent a memo to the staff that said the "decision by Al Jazeera America’s board is driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace."
The network started U.S. operations in 2013.
Al-Jazeera's documentary "The Dark Side" alleged Peyton's wife, Ashley, received multiple shipments of HGH from The Guyer Institute in Indianapolis, where Peyton was a patient in 2011.
Reporters questioned Manning about the news at a Wednesday press conference. He said he didn't have much to say about the shutdown, but with a hint of sarcasm added, "I’m sure it’s going to be just devastating to all their viewers." All of the media laughed.
In previous interview with ESPN, Manning called the documentary “complete garbage” and said he was sickened by the violation of his wife’s medical privacy.
Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who Manning hired in the wake of the documentary, attacked the report and the reporter: “Al Jazeera is backtracking and retreating. Their story was not credible to begin with and it’s not credible now."
The Denver7 Investigators looked into the background of Charles Sly, the pharmacist who made the allegations about shipments to Manning’s wife on Al Jazeera’s undercover video. Sly released a video statement before the Al Jazeera report even aired, recanting anything he said on the undercover video.
Denver7 found expired pharmacy intern licenses for Sly in Indiana and Nevada, but no current licenses. Denver7 also found Sly applied for an intern license in Texas but did not follow up on the application.
Much of the initial controversy over the report revolved around the timing of Sly’s internship with the Guyer Institute, the Indianapolis anti-aging clinic where Manning and his wife Ashley were both patients. The Denver7 investigators uncovered new details about that timeline. In the Al Jazeera report, Sly claimed on hidden camera Manning’s wife received HGH shipments in 2011 when the presumed future Hall of Fame quarterback was rehabilitating from a serious neck injury. However, the Guyer Institute said Sly did not become an intern there until 2013. A university spokesperson told Denver7 such internships are typically completed in a student’s final year, and Sly graduated in August of 2013 with a doctor of pharmacy degree.
Responding to questions about the timeline, Al Jazeera released a recording and a transcript of a phone call conversation it had with a Guyer Institute employee who said Sly interned for about three months with a start date of October 17, 2011. RTV6, Denver7’s sister station in Indianapolis, obtained the document that employee was reportedly looking at when she provided that date: an internship agreement between Roseman and Guyer dated October 17, 2011. The agreement does not specifically mention Sly by name.