Last week Al Jazeera released an article and video based off of intel found using hidden cameras and undercover reporters that condemned several athletes for cutting corners by means of performing enhancing drugs. Some names mentioned regarding banned substance use, in most cases that substance being Delta-2, included Mike Neal, Clay Matthews, Peyton Manning, Ryan Howard, and Ryan Zimmerman. While Matthews hasn’t commented on the matter, Manning, Howard and Zimmerman have furiously denied any claims made against them.
Since the airing of the article and video, the person of interest, Charles Sly, who made most of the statements while being filmed by a hidden camera, has said that any info found by Al Jazeera was found without his consent and under no circumstances should they be aired. Also, Sly has said that while he was being recorded that he was lying.
Tyler previously wrote an article surrounding the Peyton Manning viewpoint saying innocent until proven guilty and this entire situation really doesn’t have any reliable evidence. I agree with Tyler, but could all of this be a sham? Could all of the unrespectable journalism done by Al Jazeera be made up? It is tough to say one way or the other but the New York Times released a great article yesterday about the names released and their possible association. The majority of the players mentioned were linked to trainer Jason Riley. Shockingly, the research led to finding a mutual friend between accused Delta-2 users and Derek Jeter. The NY Times are in no way suggesting that Jeter has had improper assistance to further his career. But the fact that Derek Jeter used the same trainer as Howard and Neal helps the case for those accused since Jeter is a constant in the game of baseball. Jeter is one of those guys that pigs would need to fly before any steroid use accusation could be taken serious for The Captain.
Both Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman have filed suit under defamation. Defamation is a very difficult tort to be successful in the courts due to its open-endedness but we don’t know about the strength of their respective cases. Peyton Manning has expressed interest in issuing a lawsuit as well and he might be soon to follow since Howard and Zimmerman are starting down that path. I don’t expect a statement on the lawsuit from Manning until the playoffs are out of sight and out of mind for Denver (which is most likely going to be the Divisional Round, another one-and-done for Precious Peyton).
Some public figures thought that Tom Brady should file suit against the NFL for defamation surrounding the Deflategate case. Brady’s case is much different, the NFL and Al Jazeera most likely have very different legal teams and Brady simply wasn’t going to bite the hand that feeds him. Tom Brady has constructed a great career in the NFL and he doesn’t need restitution over something as petty as alleged under inflated balls in a game that occurred in below freezing temperatures, but I digress. Manning on the other hand reconstructed his career after a brutal series of neck injuries and surgeries. The second chance to his career has been reshaped by his hard work and determination, something that for sure he is and anybody would be proud of. With all things considered and especially after hearing his claims of denial I expect him to follow in suit.
Cover photo from espn.go.com