Today Adam Schefter tweeted that, per sources at ESPN, the NFL has determined that Peyton Manning did not use HGH or any other PED following their seven month investigation following the Al Jazeera America report linking several players to PED use.
In late December, an Al Jazeera America documentary linked multiple high profile athletes – including Peyton Manning, Clay Matthews, James Harrison, Julius Peppers and others – to PED use including HGH. Since then the NFL has been trying to investigate and interview all of the players named, most of whom have looked to avoid these interviews and as recently as today, the NFL announced they would not accept their affidavits.
Manning, on the other hand, fully cooperated with the NFL and was today cleared. The league stated that it found “no credible evidence that Peyton manning was provided with or used HGH or others prohibited by the league’s PED policy.” However, the league is still pursuing all other players named in the documentary.
As far as Manning is concerned, this is the exact resolution he thought he would get and it completely removes any chance of him having a tarnished legacy. Manning even went as far as considering a lawsuit against Al Jazeera.
As for the other players, this cloud figures to follow them around until they fully cooperate with the league, as the league has made it very clear that they will accept nothing short of exactly that, and the should do exactly that. Though it is understandable that, if they know/believe they are innocent, they do not feel like they should have to prove anything, they should use Tom Brady’s refusal to comply with the league and Peyton Manning’s willingness to comply with the league as examples of what can happen in this type of situation – the league virtually always wins.