Peyton Manning is vehemently refuting a report set to air on Al Jazeera that contends the Denver Broncos quarterback received human growth hormone through his wife during his recovery from neck fusion surgeries in 2011 in Indianapolis.
In a statement Saturday night, Manning said: "The allegation that I would do something like that is complete garbage and is totally made up. It never happened. Never."
He added, "I really can't believe somebody would put something like this on the air. Whoever said this is making stuff up."
The report, which Al Jazeera posted online Sunday before it was set to air, claims Manning received HGH from an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic in 2011 while he was still with the Colts. It said the drug, which was banned by the NFL in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, was delivered to his wife, Ashley, so that the quarterback's name was never attached to the shipments.
The report also alleges Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman and Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard as recipients of another performance enhancing drug called Delta-2.
In a statement, a spokesman for Zimmerman and Howard called Al Jazeera "irresponsible" for providing a platform to broadcast "outright lies" about his clients.
“The extraordinarily reckless claims made against our clients in this report are completely false and rely on a source who has already recanted his claims," William Burck said in a statement to NBC Washington, adding that they "will go to court to hold Al Jazeera and other responsible parties accountable for smearing our clients’ good names.”
The Nationals said in a statement Sunday that the team didn't find the report crdible and that its owners and organization support Zimmerman. "We are confident Major League Baseball's investigation will show the allegations levied in the report are unfounded."
The allegations surfaced in an Al Jazeera undercover probe into doping in global sports that was posted online Sunday and is set to air on TV later in the day.
Liam Collins, a British hurdler, went undercover and spoke with Charlie Sly, an Austin, Texas-based pharmacist who worked at the Guyer Institute, the Indiana-based anti-aging clinic in 2011. Sly allegedly names Manning and other high profile athletes as having received HGH from the clinic.
However, Sly backtracks in a subsequent statement to Al Jazeera, saying Collins secretly recorded his conversations without his knowledge or consent.
"The statements on any recordings or communications that Al Jazeera plans to air are absolutely false and incorrect," Sly said. "To be clear, I am recanting any such statements and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air. Under no circumstances should any of those recordings, statements or communications be aired."
The NFL and players union added human growth hormone testing to the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011 but the side didn't agree to testing terms until 2014. Nobody has tested positive, which would trigger a four-game suspension.
Manning, who joined the Broncos in 2012, has been sidelined since Nov. 15 by a left foot injury. Brock Osweiler is set to make his sixth consecutive start in Manning's place Monday night when the Broncos (10-4) host the Bengals (11-3).