Forty-eight hours after an explosive Al Jazeera documentary named Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in a report on doping in sports, the network says it stands behind the allegations. Denver7 Investigator Tony Kovaleski talked with Al Jazeera producer Kevin Hirgen, who worked on the investigation. Hirgen told Kovaleski that the report does not say Peyton Manning took HGH, a human growth hormone banned by many sports leagues including the NFL. Instead, Hirgen said the Al Jazeera report alleges that there were multiple shipments of HGH to Manning’s wife in Florida, and the Al Jazeera producer says the network stands behind that reporting.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, 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. Within 48 hours of the broadcast, Deborah Davies is now contradicting her own reporting.” In an interview with ESPN on Sunday, Manning called the documentary “complete garbage” and said he was sickened by the violation of his wife’s medical privacy.
The Denver7 Investigators also 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 on Tuesday. 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.