According to a new report from The Washington Post's Will Hobson and Justin Wm. Moyer, Peyton Manning hired two private investigators to look into Charlie Sly, the man at the center of Al Jazeera's human growth hormone documentary.
Sly was secretly recorded in the December documentary from Al Jazeera, in which Liam Collins, a British Olympian, dove into the world of doping in sports, posing as an athlete looking to gain a competitive advantage.
Sly was filmed in the documentary saying that during his time with the Guyer Institute, an anti-aging clinic in Indiana, the clinic sent shipments of HGH to Manning's wife, Ashley. After the documentary aired, Sly recanted his statements.
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The report says that Manning hired the two PIs before the documentary aired, when Al Jazeera began contacting the athletes listed in the documentary (NFL players like Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers were named, along with MLB stars Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman, among others). Sly, of course, wasn't aware that he had been recorded, and he wasn't named in Al Jazeera's initial emails to the athlete's before the documentary aired.
After some digging as to who the source could be, the two private investigators went to Sly's parents' house looking for Sly. Alarmed by the two investigators, who reportedly wouldn't identify the party for which they worked, Sly's parents called the cops before the investigators assuaged their fears.
See the players named in Al Jazeera's report
Sly, however, wasn't home, so the two investigators came back at a later date, and once the Slys put their lawyer on the phone, asked Sly questions about his background.
During this same time period, Sly had been contacted by Dustin Keller, a former tight end he named in the documentary, who had received an email from Al Jazeera requesting a comment. The Slys were confused by what was going on, only vaguely aware of Al Jazeera, believing that they were part of a scam. According to the report, they didn't realize what was coming until the two PIs showed up at the Slys' home.
Ari Fleischer, one of the "crisis management consultants" that Manning hired, said the investigation was a natural reaction to the emails Al Jazeera sent prior to the documentary's airing.
"When somebody accuses you of doing something you didn't do — and Al Jazeera refused to tell us who it was — it's only logical to say, 'Who is it, and why are they doing this?. That's human nature. ... Our thinking was it would be very helpful to find whoever it was who was making up lies about Peyton, and figure out why someone would fabricate information like this."
Manning also had a lawyer go to the Guyer Institute to examine Peyton and Ashley's medical records there. According to the report, Manning's lawyer says the Guyer Institute did make medical shipments to Ashley Manning, though what those shipments contained is unknown.
Sly and Manning's lawyers both reportedly say that Sly's decision to recant his statements were his own idea and not influenced by Manning's investigation. Sly and his lawyer also insist that Sly's statements on the documentary were all lies, as he was trying to impress Collins, who he viewed as a potential business partner.
According to the report, Sly's lawyer says Sly is cooperating with the ongoing NFL and MLB investigations into the documentary and that Manning's own investigation has not interfered with the NFL and MLB investigations.
It's another bizarre twist in an already confusing story that figures to go on for quite some time.
Read the entire report here >
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