Peyton Manning is facing an uphill battle in regards to his alleged use of human growth hormone. While reports surfaced last month claiming that Manning had used the banned substance, the NFL is now preparing to launch a full investigation. With that in mind, what are the chances that Manning will not be allowed to play in the upcoming Super Bowl?
According to SB Nation, the NFL is looking into the reports that Manning’s wife may have given him HGH back in 2011. The league is planning on bringing in both the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and Major League Baseball to help them with the investigation, which includes other players besides Manning.
While the investigation is currently underway, there is little chance that it will be completed before the start of Super Bowl 50. This means that Manning will likely lead his Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers in the game no matter what the league ends up uncovering in their investigation.
“The review is ongoing and comprehensive,” said Ian Rapoport, the NFL Media Insider. “It involves obtaining and reviewing numerous records, conducting multiple interviews and working with other entities. We do not comment on the specifics of these matters until the review is completed. We are working with MLB and USADA.”
According to ESPN, reports of a link between Manning and HGH first surfaced back in December by Al Jazeera. In the report, a former worker at an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis claimed that Manning’s wife had picked up HGH from the clinic in 2011. During this same time, Manning was in recovery following the surgery on his neck.
Manning was not the only professional athlete tied in with the report. In fact, both Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard were linked to HGH use. Zimmerman and Howard’s connection to the report is one reason why the NFL is partnering up with the MLB, as they likely will need to cooperate with each other in order to get a complete picture of what happened.
However, despite the allegations against them, both Zimmerman and Howard deny ever using the drug during their time as professional athletes. Even more, the two have decided to officially file a suit against Al Jazeera for what they claim is defamation.
For his part, Peyton Manning has also denied using HGH at any time in the past. Although he has expressed an interest in joining Zimmerman and Howard in their lawsuit, he has yet to officially release a statement on the matter. In fact, aside from outright denying the report, Manning has not discussed the reports of his HGH use with any level of depth. With all eyes now focused on the Super Bowl, things are not likely to change for Manning.
In the end, only time will tell if the NFL’s investigation will uncover any evidence that Manning used HGH in the past. Unfortunately, a deadline for the completion of the investigation has not been set. Even though the NFL has apparently been investigating the matter for quite some time now, the chances of it finishing the investigation before the big game is slim to none. This means fans will likely get to watch Manning suit up to play in the biggest game the sport has to offer.
However, despite whatever ends up happening in what might be Manning’s final game, the results of the investigation may very well have a longer lasting impact on his legacy than anything else in his career. That is saying a lot, especially considering Manning’s past record as being one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game of professional football.
Tell us! Do you think Peyton Manning used HGH? Let us know in the comments and check out some of his greatest plays in the video below.
[Image via Fox]