Denver quarterback Peyton Manning is vehemently denying an allegation in a documentary saying he was provided human growth hormone by an Indiana doctor while recovering from multiple neck surgeries in 2011.
HGH is not illegal but is considered a performance-enhancing drug that is banned by the NFL and other sports leagues.
Manning told ESPN the report is "completely fabricated. Complete trash, garbage." The allegation is made in "The Dark Side," a documentary by Al Jazeera America that claims he was among a number of professional athletes provided the hormone. According to the report, the quarterback received packages of the drug that were addressed to his wife, Ashley Manning.
After his first denial, Manning issued a statement to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, confirming he was a patient of the doctor in question and taking issue with the contention in the documentary that he visited the doctor's clinic after hours.
"Yes, I have been a patient under Dr. [Dale] Guyer," Manning said. "I have had nutrient therapy, oxygen therapy and other treatments that are holistic in nature but never HGH. My wife has never provided any medication for me to take. Ashley and I never attended the clinic together after hours. There were times when I went in the morning and there were times when I went after practice so this thing about 'after hours' is so misleading because it may have been 5:15 p.m. because their office closed at 5."
Both the Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts, Manning's former team, issued statements saying the claims have no merit. Manning told Sports Illustrated's Peter King that he probably will sue over the allegations.
Referring to the report as "utterly ridiculous," the Colts said: "We are thoroughly familiar with Peyton's tireless work habits, his medical history, and, most importantly his integrity.
"Peyton played the game in Indianapolis for 14 years the right way. He never took any shortcuts and it would be absurd to suggest he would have taken prohibited performance-enhancing drugs."
Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter: @LATimesfarmer
MORE NFL NEWS