After a seven-month investigation, the National Football League has concluded that there is no credible evidence that retired super star and presumptive Hall of Famer Peyton Manning had any involvement with performance enhancing drugs.
He had been under a cloud of suspicion after news agency Al-Jazeera America released a report in December of 2015 containing allegations by a former pharmacist that Manning, second in prestige to only God in the eyes of most NFL fans, had received human growth hormone that was shipped to his house in his wife’s name.
Manning’s public image has always been one of such squeaky cleanliness that no amount of oil could tarnish it. The NFL, however, does continue the investigation in connections with other players of less impeccable virtue. They have requested interviews with linebackers Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers, along with teammate Julius Peppers and with Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison.
The NFL continued the investigation, even after former pharmacist Charles Sly admitted that he had fabricated the entire story, although they did not exert the same dogged determination they did in chasing down Tom Brady for the Deflate Gate scandal.
In what could be viewed as a testament to Manning’s power in the eyes of the public, Al-Jazeera became upset over being discredited and took their TV cameras and went home, abandoning the U.S. market.