As the media madness that precedes the Super Bowl kicked into high gear on Monday, Peyton Manning found himself fielding questions on an NFL investigation into a report that claimed he had used human growth hormone.
An investigation, done by Al Jazeera in to the use of performance enhancing drugs in elite level sports, pharmacist Charlie Sly stated that during his time at the Guyer Institute, an anti-aging clinic based in Indiana, he mailed human growth hormone to Manning's wife Ashley in order to avoid the star player's name being attached to the product.
Sly has since recanted his remarks, saying that he "was trying to determine whether this guy [Liam Collins, the reporter] was legitimate or just trying to steal some knowledge about the business" and so mentioned some names of big sports stars to test his knowledge.
Manning, who appeared in front of the media ahead of Super Bowl 50, where his Denver Broncos will be taking on the Carolina Panthers this Sunday, stated that he wasn't worried about the investigation.
Image: Charlie Riedel / AP/Press Association Images
"I welcome this NFL investigation [...] What this report alleges that I did is simply not true. It’s fabricated. It’s junk. It’s garbage. I could give you a long list of other words for it".
He added that he's already confident of the outcome, saying "I can guarantee what this investigation will find — a big fat nothing".
On the subject of his future, there has been plenty of speculation that he might be calling time on his career after the Super Bowl. At 39-years-old, Manning will be the oldest quarterback to appear in the showpiece event, and reportedly told Bill Belichick, New England Patriots coach, that this "might be my last rodeo" after their AFC championship meeting in January.
— ARD (@ARDFootball) January 26, 2016
He said that "I haven’t made my mind up and I don’t see myself making a decision until after the season. Whatever cliché you want to use, I just want to stay in the moment, focus on the task in hand and concentrate on this week".
Asked about his comments to Belichick, he added that "I said the same thing to [Tom] Brady. Brady’s going to play until he’s 70, Belichick’s going to coach until he’s 90. Maybe I’ll play for another 10 years", but that he had no decisions made either way.