Forget what you heard, Peyton Manning did not use any performance-enhancing drugs during his 18-year NFL career, the NFL announced Monday. At least, it couldn’t prove that he did.
After an Al-Jazeera America report last December suggested that Manning and handful of other players took PEDs, the NFL began an investigation into the allegations. Manning is the first player to get cleared by the league, in part becuase he cooperated fully with its investigation, something guys who are still playing have refused to do. But since Manning is retired, he’s spurned the NFL Players Association and did everything the league asked.
As a part of its investigation, the league conducted interviews with Manning and his wife Ashley, reviewed the quarterback’s medical records and conducted its own "laboratory analysis and review." Seven-months later, the NFL wasn't convinced of allegations made by Charles Sly, a former intern at an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic. Sly was secretly recording saying Manning was mailed HGH shipments while he was recovering from a neck injury in 2011.
Now Manning's name is clear to go on to a team's front office or a career in behind the mic.
Still, the NFL may have cleared Manning’s name, but don’t expect this announcement to convince everyone that he was clean. It’s not like the league proved he didn’t take anything—only that there’s no “credible” evidence he did. And given his golden boy status, would you have expected any different?