Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning speaks to the media in Santa Clara, California on February 2, 2016. The Denver Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Peyton Manning's legal team used private investigators to look into the source of the Al Jazeera documentary that suggested the quarterback used human growth hormone in violation of NFL rules, according to the Washington Post.
The newspaper reported Thursday that two men hired by lawyers for the Denver Broncos quarterback had visited the parents of the documentary's main source before the documentary aired late last year.
Manning, preparing for Sunday's Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers, has strongly denied the Al Jazeera report that aired in December accusing him of using HGH in 2011 during his recovery from major neck surgery while he was with the Indianapolis Colts.
Manning angrily called the report "completely fabricated, complete trash, garbage."
Al Jazeera reported that an intern, Charles Sly, at an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic was secretly recorded suggesting that Manning's wife received deliveries of HGH in 2011.
Sly recanted his statements and said they were fabricated in an attempt to impress a potential business partner.
Manning has said he supports an NFL investigation into the report and his father, Archie Manning, said Thursday on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" that he believes his son never took HGH.
"I always had a saying when he was going through everything and he had to talk to a lot of different doctors and trainers, and I always said, 'No voodoo.' That was kind of our theme. And he didn't. He said he didn't. He didn't," Archie Manning said.
Peyton Manning's legal team hired investigators to identify, locate and interrogate Sly and sent a lawyer to examine the medical records of Manning and his wife, Ashley, at the Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine in Indianapolis, according to Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary and current consultant hired by the Broncos quarterback.
On Christmas Eve, Sly sat at the dining room table of his parents' home.
"My name is Charles Sly," he told the investigators, according to the Washington Post. "It has come to my attention that the broadcaster Al Jazeera has somehow obtained recordings or communications of me making statements concerning a number of athletes. ... There is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air."
Fleischer told the Post that Manning's investigative team didn't interfere with subsequent investigations, nor did it remove any medical records or coerce Sly into recanting his statements.
Fleischer did confirm to the Post that the Indianapolis anti-aging clinic shipped medication to Manning's wife. Citing her right to privacy, Fleischer declined to say if it was human growth hormone.
"When somebody accuses you of doing something you didn't do -- and Al Jazeera refused to tell us who it was -- it's only logical to say, 'Who is it, and why are they doing this?'?" Fleischer told the Post. "That's human nature."
HGH is banned by professional sports leagues and is legal to prescribe for only a few specific medical conditions.
The NFL has disclosed that it is conducting a "comprehensive review" of the allegations.