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December 27, 2015

Al Jazeera releases 'Dark Side' doc with PED allegations against Howard, Manning

Documentary claims multiple professional athletes have been involved in a doping ring

Documentaries PEDs
122715_DarkSideAJ Contributed Art/Al Jazeera

'The Dark Side' documentary, produced by Al Jazeera, alleges that multiple professional athletes have participated in a doping ring to gain a competitive advantage in their respective sports.

An incendiary Al Jazeera documentary containing allegations of a doping ring among multiple professional athletes, including Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, was released online Sunday afternoon after an initial report drew strong denials from those implicated in the undercover investigation.

Howard was named in the report by Charlie Sly, an Austin, Texas-based pharmacist who alleged that the Phillies star, along with Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman, used the hormone supplement Delta-2, a drug described as "steroidal in nature" and banned by Major League Baseball.

An attorney representing Howard and Zimmerman blasted the report as "inexcusable" and "irresponsible" in a statement denying the merit of the investigation.

"The extraordinarily reckless claims made against our clients in this report are completely false and rely on a source who has already recanted his claims. We will go to court to hold Al Jazeera and other responsible parties accountable for smearing our clients' good names.”

The documentary also alleges that Peyton Manning was supplied with human growth hormone by The Guyer Institute, an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic, while still a member of the Colts. Sly claims in the documentary that Manning, 39, had HGH delivered to his wife while recovering from four neck surgeries in 2011. The drug was banned by the NFL as part of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.

Manning, who remains sidelined with a foot injury, fiercely rejected the allegations in a statement to ESPN and in other comments ahead of the Broncos matchup with Cincinnati on Monday Night Football.

"I can't speak for any other athlete. I know what I've done, I know how hard I've worked in my 18 years of playing in the NFL. There are no shortcuts in the NFL. I've done it the long way, I've done it the hard way. And to insinuate anything otherwise is a complete and total joke, it's defamation and it really ticks me off."

The Al Jazeera investigation was spearheaded by British hurdler Liam Collins, who went undercover to expose performance-enhancing drug use in professional sports. Sly, a former intern at the Guyer Institute, has recanted the claims he made in the documentary, calling them "absolutely false and incorrect" and telling ESPN he fabricated them to test Collins' legitimacy.

The documentary, entitled "The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers," can be viewed in its entirety below.