- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2016

An NFL investigation into a report that Peyton Manning received performance-enhancing drugs “found no credible evidence” of wrongdoing, the league said in a statement Monday.

“Following a comprehensive seven-month investigation into allegations made by Al-Jazeera America, the NFL found no credible evidence that Peyton Manning was provided with or used HGH or other substances prohibited by the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances,” the league said in a statement.

Mr. Manning, a former quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, was one of several athletes named in the December Al Jazeera America documentary, “The Dark Side: The Secret World of Sports Doping,” as having used or obtained performance-enhancing drugs.

The report said Mr. Manning’s wife had received deliveries of human growth hormone, a substance banned in the NFL, in 2011. But the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback denied the charges from the outset, calling the story “completely fabricated” and “complete junk.”

He said in May that he would not sue the now-defunct media group over the allegation. But other athletes named in the report were not so forgiving.

Baseball players Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman each sued Al Jazeera America and reporter Deborah Davies for libel and invasion of privacy.

Representatives for Mr. Zimmerman, first baseman for the Washington Nationals, called the allegations “categorically untrue” at the time.

The allegations against Mr. Manning, who retired after last season, were predicated on the since-recanted testimony of Charlie Sly, who was an unpaid intern at the Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine, an Indianapolis-based anti-aging clinic where Mr. Manning at one point received treatment.

Mr. Sly said he was recorded without his knowledge and did not know he was talking to an athlete working undercover for Al Jazeera America. Lawyers for Mr. Sly later said the story was “pure puffery” aimed at bolstering Mr. Sly’s appearance to a potential client.

The NFL said it is still planning to interview and investigate other athletes named in the Al Jazeera America report, including Green Bay Packers linebackers Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews. Both of those players have denied the allegations.

Less than three years after launching, Al Jazeera America folded in April, citing low ratings and a lack of advertisers.

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