NFL star Manning denies drug allegations
AMERICAN football star Peyton Manning has denied an Al Jazeera report that he took human growth hormone (HGH) following neck surgery in 2011 but, on Sunday, acknowledged that he visited a clinic that allegedly supplied the banned substance.
Meanwhile, the source of the report that the anti-ageing clinic in Indianapolis provided HGH to Manning recanted his allegations in a video statement.
Manning, who missed the entire 2011 National Football League season with a serious neck injury, says the news network's report is completely fabricated.
The quarterback was with the Indianapolis Colts that year.
"Disgusted is how I feel, sickened," he told ESPN on Sunday in his first interview since the report was made public. "In 2011, when I more or less had a broken neck, four neck surgeries, I busted my butt to get healthy. I saw a lot of doctors."
Asked if he had ever used HGH, Manning, who currently plays for the Denver Broncos, said "absolutely not". However, he acknowledged that he visited the Guyer Clinic to use a hyperbaric chamber and receive various other treatments that he said were not banned.
"Everything was under Colts' authorisation," he said. "Time ended up being probably my best medicine, along with a lot of hard work."
Earlier, the Broncos said they support the 39-year-old quarterback 100 per cent.
"These are false claims made to Al Jazeera and we don't believe the report," the team said in a statement.
The Colts also came to Manning's defence.
"Peyton played the game in Indianapolis for 14 years the right way," the team said. "He never took any shortcuts and it would be absurd to suggest that he would have taken prohibited performance enhancing drugs."
The Guyer Institute denied any wrongdoing and said that Charles Sly, the man who made the allegations to an undercover reporter, did not work at the clinic in 2011 but rather, was an intern in 2013.
In a YouTube statement given before the Al Jazeera broadcast, Mr Sly said Al Jazeera recorded him without his knowledge or consent. "The statements on any recordings or communications that Al Jazeera plans to air are absolutely false and incorrect," he said.