The Peyton Manning drug scandal just got even weirder

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Peyton Manning: My Record Won't Be Broken

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's ongoing investigation of the clinic that sent human growth hormones to Peyton Manning's wife has landed on a new target: Charles Sly's fiancé, Karen Lopez-Bartlett, a nurse practitioner who committed suicide a few months prior to the airing of Al Jazeera's report, an anti-doping official told the New York Times.

If you recall, Sly, a pharmacist working at the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis, was the central figure in the December broadcast, bragging to Al Jazeera's undercover operative, Liam Collins, that he'd acquired and distributed performance enhancing drugs to a slew of professional athletes in the NFL and MLB, including current major leaguers Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman. (Both Howard and Zimmerman are suing Al Jazeera for defamation.)

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But the biggest fish Al Jazeera snagged was Manning, who allegedly received HGH as he worked to come back from a potentially career-ending neck injury.

"Him [Manning] and his wife would come in after hours and get IVs and shit," Sly was surreptitiously recorded saying. "So one thing that Guyer does is he dispenses drugs out of his office, which physicians can do in the United States. It's just not very many of them do it. And all the time we would be sending Ashley Manning drugs. Like growth hormone, all the time, everywhere, Florida. And it would never be under Peyton's name. It would always be under her name."

Manning vociferously denied ever using a banned substance, and Sly himself took to YouTube to recant everything he said to Al Jazeera. Additionally, Manning inked ex-George W. Bush spinmaster Ari Fleischer to deal with the fallout, and has been conducting his own personal, private investigation, going so far as to send a few beefy-necked friends of his to Sly's parents' house for a friendly chat.

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The Peyton Manning drug scandal just got even weirder
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 20: Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos watches the action from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of play at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Denver Broncos on Sunday, December 20, 2015. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 28: Mike Neal #96 of the Green Bay Packers looks to the sidelines during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on December 28, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 30-20. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 3: Inside linebacker Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers walks out to the field prior to playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 3, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 8: Julius Peppers #56 of the Green Bay Packers looks on during a NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank Of America Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 08: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks onto the field before the start of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field on November 8, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 26: RY 26: ARY 26: Taylor Teagarden #23 of the New York Mets poses for a portrait during Spring Training photo day at Tradition Field on February 26, 2014 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 12: Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies in the dugout during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 12, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 7-6. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals sits in the dugout during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 29, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
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But if this story hasn't taken enough strange turns, Sly, who couldn't write prescriptions himself, assured Collins that Lopez-Bartlett, his fiancé, still could get the job done, and that he both had a copy of the keys to the holistic medicine clinic in Houston that she ran and could swipe her prescription pad whenever he wanted.

But Sly neglected to mention one small detail: she had already committed suicide via an overdose on sedatives.

Ms. Lopez-Bartlett had killed herself several days before Mr. Collins began secretly interviewing Mr. Sly, though Mr. Sly did not mention her death during several hours of conversations, according to the transcripts.

Mr. Sly told Mr. Collins that he and Ms. Lopez-Bartlett were engaged, according to the transcripts, but that he had misgivings about marriage because it would be a conflict for a husband or a wife to write prescriptions for a spouse.

"She writes a lot of prescriptions," Mr. Sly said, according to a recording of the conversation. "In the U.S., since I have all these deals with the pharmacies, that's a conflict of interest. Big time. And we're making good, good, good money."

Mr. Sly went on to say that it was easier to work with Ms. Lopez-Bartlett because he could tell her specifically how to get prescriptions filled.

"If I can have her in front of me, I can tell her what to say," he told Mr. Collins. "Or I can just communicate it on her behalf."

Sly was so bent on selling himself and his abilities as a PED procurer that he lied about his fiancé's death without batting an eye. Whether that lends any credence to Manning's fervent denials—or Sly's equally insistent denials for that matter—is pretty much anyone's guess at this point.

But what this does show is that prohibition and invasive yet ineffective testing policies will, by definition, force players to deal with criminals and a slew of shady characters that have a flexible relationship (at best) with the truth.

The post The Peyton Manning Drug Scandal Just Got Even Weirder appeared first on Vocativ.

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Peyton Manning through the years
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The Peyton Manning drug scandal just got even weirder
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30: Peyton Manning attends the SuperBowl Breakfast where he received the Bart Starr award at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on January 30, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Super Service Challenge)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) prepares to take the field prior to an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2014, file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning passes against the Buffalo Bills during an NFL football game in Denver. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Manning will return for a fourth season in Denver and 18th in the NFL. Manning will reduce his salary from $19 million to $15 million in 2015, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement. However, he can make up all of the $4 million pay cut by reaching certain performance benchmarks. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates his 509th career touchdown pass with teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning looks to the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: A digital display commemorates the NFL record 509th career passing touchdown by quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in the second quarter of a game between the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos throws as he warms up before a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in action against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on November 9, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 07: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos runs the offense against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 7, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Colts 31-24. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 17: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos stands on the sidelines during their preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on August 17, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: NFL quarterback Peyton Manning accepts award at The 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images For ESPYS)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - JANUARY 26: Starting quarterback Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos addresses the media on January 26, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in action against the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in action against the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after they defeated the New England Patriots 26 to 16 during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 01: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos watches the scoreboard from the sidelines during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 15: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls a play during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints congratulates Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos after the Broncos defeated the Saints 34-14 at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on October 28, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 21: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos waits to talk to the local and national media following organized team activities at Dove Valley on May 21, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - MARCH 20: Quarterback Peyton Manning (C) poses with majority owner, president, and CEO Pat Bowlen (L) and executive vice president of football operations John Elway (R) during a news conference announcing Manning's contract with the Denver Broncos in the team meeting room at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre on March 20, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado. Manning, entering his 15th NFL season, was released by the Indianapolis Colts on March 7, 2012, where he had played his whole career. It has been reported that Manning will sign a five-year, $96 million offer. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 3: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on from the side line during their NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills defeated the Colts 30-7. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 1, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 14: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts waits to be introduced before playing the Detroit Lions on December 14, 2008 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts calls a play to his team in the second quarter of Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears defense on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts speaks during Media Day prior to Super Bowl XLI at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida on January 30, 2007. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning warms up before play against the Cincinnati Bengals Dec. 18, 2006 in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. The Colts won 34 - 16. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick at a 2005 American Bowl press conference at the Tokyo Dome Hotel in Japan, Thursday August 4, 2005. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
MIAMI, : Miami Dolphins' defensive end Kenny Mixon (R) can't catch up to Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning (L) as he scrambles into the end zone for a touchdown during second quarter action 17 December 2000 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. AFP PHOTO/RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
18 Apr 1998: First overall pick Peyton Manning shows off his jersey after being selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York. Mandatory Credit: Ezra C. Shaw /Allsport
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 16: Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Peyton Manning looks for a received during a pre-season game with the San Diego Chargers 22 August at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo credit should read JOHN RUTHROFF/AFP/Getty Images)
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