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Report: Manning to 'probably sue' for HGH claims

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-28 19:00:29-05

Peyton Manning may take legal action against Al Jazeera because of HGH allegations.

Peter King of TheMMQB.com and NBC’s Football Night in America says he asked the Broncos starting quarterback whether he’ll sue over the claims that he used HGH following neck surgeries in 2011, when Manning played for the Colts. Manning said, “Yeah, I probably will. I’m that angry.”

King also reported that Manning refused to discuss his wife’s medical condition, past procedures, or even whether she ever received treatment from the Indianapolis clinic in question.

Possibly enhancing Manning’s case, should he choose to pursue legal action, would be Al Jazeera’s reported source for the information. The founder of the medical clinic says the man who claimed Manning used HGH in 2011 did not even work there until two years later and "fabricated" his allegations.

Dr. Dale Guyer, who started The Guyer Institute, says "with absolute certainty" that the allegations about Manning are false, according to the Associated Press. The accusations are in a report by Al Jazeera, based on secret recordings of an unpaid student intern at the facility. Charles Sly now says he fabricated those stories.

Guyer said Sly was a pharmacy student in Nevada in 2011, when Manning was undergoing treatment, and that Sly did not begin working at the clinic until Feb. 18, 2013. Guyer said Sly also has had no affiliation with the institute since the unpaid internship ended in May 2013.

However, King added that he spoke to the Al Jazeera reporter, who said there are employee records that show Sly worked there in 2011.

Sly has recanted the claim that Manning used HGH. Sly, who also named other high-profile athletes on the secret recordings, told Al Jazeera the statements attributed to him "are absolutely false and incorrect." Sly told ESPN that he fabricated the allegations to test Collins' legitimacy.

NBC News reports because Manning is a public figure, legal action would be difficult. If he sues in Colorado, Manning could sue with the state’s defamation law, saying his reputation has been damaged. He’d also have to prove reports of taking HGH to be false, as well as reports that it was mailed to his home in the first place; a lawyer may also have to prove that Al Jazeera knew those statements to be untrue.

Manning angrily denied allegations to ESPN on Sunday morning he used HGH in 2011.

"I can't speak for any other athlete. I know what I've done, I know how hard I've worked in my 18 years of playing in the NFL. There are no shortcuts in the NFL. I've done it the long way, I've done it the hard way. And to insinuate anything otherwise is a complete and total joke, it's defamation and it really ticks me off," Manning told ESPN.

Manning also told ESPN he's never taken anything that was ever sent to his wife nor has he ever used PEDs.

"Absolutely not. And what hurts me the most about this is whoever this guy is, this slapstick trying to insinuate that in 2011, when I more or less had a broken neck," he said. "... But I had a broken neck and I busted my butt to get healthy, put in a lot of hard work. I saw a lot of doctors."

The Broncos and Colts issued statements Sunday morning in support of Manning.

"Knowing Peyton Manning and everything he stands for, the Denver Broncos support him 100 percent," the team said. "These are false claims made to Al Jazeera, and we don't believe the report."

The Colts, whom Manning played for from 1998-2011, issued a statement calling the report "utterly ridiculous."

"We are thoroughly familiar with Peyton's tireless work habits, his medical history, and, most importantly, his integrity," the Colts said.

"We also note that the 'source' of this allegation has since recanted his story."

Manning joined the Broncos in 2012 and had a record-setting run, going 47-15 until he tore the plantar fascia in his left foot on Nov. 15. That was the same day he broke Brett Favre's NFL record for most career passing yards.

He's been sidelined ever since, and backup Brock Osweiler will make his sixth straight start Monday night when the Broncos (10-2) host the Bengals (11-3).

"Throughout his NFL career, particularly during his four seasons with the Broncos, Peyton has shown nothing but respect for the game," the Broncos said. "Our organization is confident Peyton does things the right way, and we do not find this story to be credible."

Manning said he sought holistic treatments such as hyperbaric oxygen and nutrient therapy at the Guyer Institute with the consent of the Colts training and medical staff.

Al Jazeera's report claims Manning received HGH from the Indianapolis anti-aging clinic in 2011. It said the drug, which was later banned by the NFL in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, was delivered to his wife so that the quarterback's name was never attached to the shipments.