Remember all those times we've wished Peyton Manning would tell the media exactly what he thinks?
Well, he has - and he's livid.
Actually, "furious" and "disgusted" to be exact.
And he damn well should be.
Since news of an Al Jazeera documentary broke Saturday accusing Manning of allegedly taking human growth hormone in 2011, Manning himself has taken to the airwaves to set the record straight - something the intensely private man but hugely public athlete rarely does.
To say this is a strong denial from Peyton Manning on Sunday NFL Countdown would be an understatement.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 27, 2015
"I rotated between being angry, furious, on and on, but disgusted is really how I feel, disgusted," Manning told ESPN's Lisa Salters Sunday. "I'm not sure how someone can make it up, admit they made it up and someone published it. It's completely fabricated, completely trash, garbage, more adjectives I'd like to use."
Manning's adjectives are spot on, but not just because it seems impossible Peyton Freaking Manning would have done this.
The comments are garbage because they are absolutely false.
For starters, the entire claim on Manning revolves around a secretly recorded conversation done by former British hurdler-turned-swindler Liam Collins with Charles Sly, who recanted his comments as soon as news of the damning documentary broke on Saturday.
Sly had claimed in the secret recording that in 2011 he shipped the steroid to Manning's home under Ashley Manning's name and also that Manning and his wife Ashley came to the clinic multiple times after hours. Slysaid on Saturday that he had "made it up" in reference to his accusations.
But more damaging to the validity of the Jazeera investigation is that Sly is presented in the documentary as being on staff in 2011 as a pharmacist for the Indianapolis-based Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine, an anti-aging clinic where Manning received treatment following his four neck surgeries in 2011.
In reality, Sly was never a paid employee at Guyer and was only at the institute two years later for three months as a 2013 summer intern. Sly admitted to ESPN Sunday that he didn't know and had never met Manning.
"When I was there, I had never seen the Mannings, ever," Sly told ESPN's Chris Mortenson. "They didn't even live here. Someone who worked there said they had been there before. That was the extent of any knowledge I had. I feel badly. I never saw any files. This is just amazing that it reached this point."
Dr. Dale Guyer, who oversaw Manning's treatments at the Institute in 2011, supported Manning's claim that the accusations against him were completely false, adding that Manning was "one of the most honorable and upstanding individuals" he has known.
"I would emphasize that Mr. Sly was never an employee of the Guyer Institute and his brief three-month internship occurred in 2013 during which time Peyton was not even being treated or present in the office. I think it is obvious Mr. Sly fabricated this whole thing for reasons I cannot fathom," Guyer said.
So there you go - total garbage.
Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2011 before signing with the Broncos in 2012, had four surgeries in 2011 to repair a herniated disk in his neck. At the suggestion of Colts trainers and doctors, the five-time NFL MVP visited the Guyer Institute 35 consecutive mornings to do one-hour treatments in the hyperbaric chamber, a process that helps increase blood flow to the muscles.
"I did that. I was a good patient," Manning said. "Had some nutrient-IV therapies that I did that I thought may have helped me as well. Everything was under Colts authorization. They knew about it. They went with me. Anything else this guy is insinuating is complete garbage."
Bill Polian, who was president of the Colts during Manning's reign in Indy, joined the crowd vehemently denying that any of the accusations could be true.
"I've been around this league a long time and I've seen a lot of crazy and despicable things," Polian said Sunday, adding that they were aware of all of Manning's treatments. "This is among the worst I've ever witnessed. I can tell you there isn't a shred of doubt in my mind that what Peyton is saying isn't 1,000-percent accurate. Nothing I can point to in my days - not one thing - leads me to believe he would even think of breaking a rule. Not Peyton. Never."
The Colts released a statement calling the entire report "utterly ridiculous" and pointed out Manning's well-documented work ethic and high standards.
"We are thoroughly familiar with Peyton's tireless work habits, his medical history, and, most importantly, his integrity. Peyton played the game in Indianapolis for 14 years the right way. He never took any shortcuts, and it would be absurd to suggest he would have taken prohibited performance enhancing drugs."
The NFL first banned HGH in 2011 but the player's union and the NFL could not agree on testing procedures until 2014. Human Growth Hormone, which is produced naturally by the pituitary gland in children and adolescents, fuels growth and helps maintain tissues and organs throughout life. A natural slowdown in this production has prompted an interest in the use of synthetic human growth hormone to stave off changes that occur with age, such as decreased muscle and bone mass.
Part of Manning's fury is over the fact that Sly brings his wife in the accusations.
"It's completely fabricated. Complete trash, garbage," Manning told ESPN. "It makes me sick that it brings Ashley into it, her medical history, her medical privacy being violated. That makes me sick. I don't understand that."
Manning, insisting that whatever medical treatments she has done are "her business," emphatically denied any connection between her treatments and his. Manning's spokesman, Ari Fleischer, confirmed that Ashley Manning was a patient at the institute and had a prescription. Any more details would be an invasion of her medical records privacy.
"There is no connection between the two," Manning said of his wife's medical treatments and his own. "I would love to understand why this guy is saying this, why he's making it up and then he admits that he makes it up, yet it still becomes a story. I'd like to be told and explained that."
The Broncos released a statement Sunday morning saying they support Manning "100 percent."
"Peyton is rightfully outraged by the allegations, which he emphatically denied to our organization and which have been publicly renounced by the source who initially provided them," the Broncos stated. "Peyton has shown nothing but respect for the game. Our organization is confident Peyton does things the right way, and we do not find this story to be credible."
Manning added that his ball would have some extra heat on it Sunday during this throwing workout because he is so fired up.
"I know how hard I've worked during my 18 years of playing in the NFL. There are no shortcuts in the NFL," Manning said. "I've done it the long way. I've done it the hard way. Insinuating anything otherwise is a complete and total joke."
Al Jazeera went hard after Peyton Manning. Let me tell you why their swing was a miss - https://t.co/BkKPvU7Lo8— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) December 28, 2015
What's the verdict?
This poll is closed
I agree with Peyton and Laurie - total garbage.
Still skeptical despite a lack of good sources.