Peyton Manning strongly denies report he used HGH in 2011

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning strongly denied a report set to air on Al Jazeera that contends the Denver Broncos quarterback received human growth hormone through his wife during his recovery from neck fusion surgeries in 2011 in Indianapolis.

In a statement Saturday night, Manning said: “The allegation that I would do something like that is complete garbage and is totally made up. It never happened. Never.”

He added, “I really can’t believe somebody would put something like this on the air. Whoever said this is making stuff up.”

The allegations surfaced in an Al Jazeera undercover probe into doping in global sports that is set to air Sunday and was shared in advance with the Huffington Post.

The report claims Manning received HGH from an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic in 2011 while he was still with the Colts. It said the drug, which was banned by the NFL in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, was delivered to his wife, Ashley, so that the quarterback’s name was never attached to the shipments.

Liam Collins, a British hurdler, went undercover and spoke with Charlie Sly, an Austin, Texas-based pharmacist who worked at the Guyer Institute, the Indiana-based anti-aging clinic in 2011. Sly allegedly names Manning and other high profile athletes as having received HGH from the clinic.

However, Sly backtracks in a subsequent statement to Al Jazeera, saying Collins secretly recorded his conversations without his knowledge or consent.

“The statements on any recordings or communications that Al Jazeera plans to air are absolutely false and incorrect,” Sly said. “To be clear, I am recanting any such statements and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air. Under no circumstances should any of those recordings, statements or communications be aired.”

The NFL and players union added human growth hormone testing to the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011 but the side didn’t agree to testing terms until 2014. Nobody has tested positive, which would trigger a four-game suspension.

Manning, who joined the Broncos in 2012, has been sidelined since Nov. 15 by a left foot injury. Brock Osweiler makes his sixth consecutive start in Manning’s place Monday night when the Broncos (10-4) host the Bengals (11-3).

 

Factory of Sadness: Cleveland fans vote for Manziel over Brown in bracket matchup

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Since it’s March, brackets are all the rage and Cleveland.com decided to get in on the fun.

In the Browns portion of the bracket, Jim Brown was the No. 1 seed pitted against Johnny Manziel, who was the No. 16 seed.

This makes a lot of sense considering the fact that Brown is not only considered the best Browns player of all time, it’s not far-fetched to consider him the best NFL player of all time.  On the other hand, Manziel, well, let’s just say things didn’t go smoothly for the quarterback who was supposed to be the answer to all of the Browns problems.

To be fair, Cleveland.com reports that some fans stuffed the ballot box to ensure Manziel got the win.

However, it’s just not right for Jim Brown to lose to Johnny Manziel in anything football-related. No matter what.

The sadness continues.

NFL exec admits to CTE-football head trauma link

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WASHINGTON (AP) An NFL official has acknowledged a link between football and the brain disease CTE for the first time.

Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president for health and safety, spoke about the connection during an appearance Monday at a congressional committee’s round table discussion about concussions.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) asked Miller: “Do you think there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE?”

Miller began by referencing the work of Boston University neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, who has found CTE in the brains of 90 former pro football players.

“Well, certainly, Dr. McKee’s research shows that a number of retired NFL players were diagnosed with CTE, so the answer to that question is certainly `yes,’ but there are also a number of questions that come with that,” Miller said.

Schakowsky repeated the question: “Is there a link?”

“Yes. Sure,” Miller responded.

The NFL has not previously linked playing football to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease linked to repeated brain trauma and associated with symptoms such as memory loss, depression and progressive dementia. It can only be detected after death. Among the players found to have CTE in their brains were Hall of Famers Junior Seau and Ken Stabler.

During Super Bowl week, Dr. Mitch Berger, a member of the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee, would not draw a direct line from football to CTE.

Miller appeared at the discussion of concussions before the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. ESPN first reported Miller’s appearance before the committee.

Last month, Berger, chair of the department of neurological surgery at the University of California-San Francisco, repeatedly said that while the types of degenerative changes to the brain associated with CTE have been found in late football players, such signs have also been found “in all spectrums of life.”

Tao, a protein that indicates the presence of CTE, “is found in brains that have traumatic injuries,” Berger said, “whether it’s from football, whether it’s from car accidents, whether it’s from gunshot wounds, domestic violence – it remains to be seen.”

Miller said he was “not going to speak for Dr. Berger” when asked by Schakowsky about those comments.

Just before Miller spoke, McKee was asked the same question about the link between hits in football and CTE. She responded “unequivocally” there is, and went into details about her research findings.

Miller told the committee that the entire scope of the issue needs to be addressed.

“You asked the question whether I thought there was a link,” he said. “Certainly based on Dr. McKee’s research, there’s a link, because she’s found CTE in a number of retired football players. I think that the broader point, and the one that your question gets to, is what that necessarily means and where do we go from here with that information.”