In a new investigative report conducted by Al Jazeera, several prominent athletes — including three current Major League Baseball players — allegedly received Human Growth Hormone from a Texas pharmacist, according to the Huffington Post.
The report is entitled The Dark Side and features Britsh hurdler, Liam Collins, who set out to expose the usage of performance-enhancing drugs in sports around the world. During his venture, Collins met Charlie Sly, a pharmacist based out of Austin, Texas, who disclosed a bevy of information about athletes that he’s supplied with PEDs.
Throughout a series of videos recorded without Sly’s knowledge, he initially confessed that Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning — who was rehabbing a neck injury n 2011– used PEDs to recover from his injury. Sly worked at the same Guyer Insitute that Manning was rehabbing in, and says in the secretly recorded video that Manning received the drugs via his wife.
“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 has denied the claims, per Albert Breer of NFL Network, calling the claims “complete garbage.”
A huge part of Collins’ investigation and network building involved him telling “medical professionals tied to the trade of performance-enhancing drugs that he is hoping for one last shot at glory at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.” That led him to meet people such as pharmacist Chad Robertson, who says he developed a “cutting edge” drug program.
The report went on to say that Robertson allegedly bragged to Collins that the system is “easy to beat” and that he “can take a guy with average genetics and make him a world champion.”
The Huffington Post’s report does make an adamant point that it’s not clear if any of the stories are true. However, there is evidence that indicates that at least part of his statements have some credibility.
Eight-year MLB veteran and catcher, Taylor Teagarden appears in one of the videos, according to the Huffington Post’s report. He allegedly openly discussed his usage of PEDs in the previous season. While he’s appeared in parts of eight seasons with the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, and Chicago Cubs, Teagarden has never appeared in more than 60 games during a regular season.
Therefore, Teagarden is not the marquee name that people would look at as a potential link to an HGH scandal. Going further into the report, Washington Nationals’ franchise player Ryan Zimmerman and Philadephia Phillies’ longtime slugger Ryan Howard are also listed in the report.
However, Al Jazeera says that both Howard and Zimmerman denied any involvement with HGH.
In a further report, Al Jazeera reached out to Sly to get his comments on the entire ordeal. But he “backtracked” from the allegations, the Huffington Post writes. Sly called any of the statement he allegedly made about supplying athletes with PEDs “false and incorrect.” He added that Collins took advantage of him as Sly was dealing with the death of his fiancee at the time.
A PED scandal like this one is not a new concept. Two years ago, the Biogenesis scandal rocked the baseball world, listing a plethora of prominent names — including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun — as recipients and users of various PEDs. Both players — and several others — were suspended in connection to the scandal, with A-Rod missing all of 2014 after being hit with a historical 162-game suspension.
While this Al Jazeera report is in its infancy, it could be just as bad — if not worse — than Biogenesis due to the names listed and the variety of sports, it’s connected to.
[Featured Image by Mike Stobe/Getty Images]