The founder of an Indianapolis medical facility said Monday that a former unpaid student intern who claimed Peyton Manning used a banned substance in 2011 didn't even work at the clinic until two years later, long after the NFL star was undergoing treatment.
Dr. Dale Guyer, who started the Guyer Institute, said the allegations against the Denver Broncos quarterback are untrue.
Manning angrily denied using performance-enhancing substances shortly after the Al Jazeera report went public Saturday. It was based on secret recordings of Charles Sly, who named other high-profile athletes and suggested Manning obtained human growth hormone via mail addressed to his wife, Ashley.
Sly has since recanted the story and told Al Jazeera the statements attributed to him "are absolutely false and incorrect." Guyer used similar language.
"I have no reason to believe these allegations are based in fact or have any truth. In fact, I can say with absolute certainty they are not," Guyer said. "I would emphasize that Mr. Sly was never an employee of the Guyer Institute and his brief, three-month internship occurred in 2013 during which time Peyton was not even being treated or present in the office. I think it is obvious that Mr. Sly has fabricated this whole thing for reasons I cannot fathom."
Guyer said Sly had no patient responsibilities and has had no affiliation with the clinic since his unpaid internship from February to May 2013. Manning was treated at the facility in 2011 following four neck surgeries.
Al Jazeera's report claims Manning received HGH from the Indianapolis anti-aging clinic in 2011 while he was still with the Colts. It said the drug, which was later banned by the NFL in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, was delivered to his wife so that the quarterback's name was never attached to the shipments.
Al Jazeera reporter Deborah Davies told MSNBC that she stands by her story and said Manning has not denied the allegation that he had HGH shipped to his wife.
No rest for top two
Carolina coach Ron Rivera has no choice but to play his starters vs. Tampa Bay with home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs still up for grabs.
"I wish I had that problem" of deciding whether to rest players, Rivera said Monday.
The Panthers (14-1) would fall to the No. 2 seed if they lose and Arizona (13-2) beats Seattle.
• Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he would not rest any top players against the rival Seahawks regardless of what Carolina does earlier Sunday.
AFC South QB shuffle
Houston quarterback Brian Hoyer is in the last phase of the NFL's concussion protocol and will start Sunday against Jacksonville if he is cleared to play.
Hoyer missed the past two games after suffering his second concussion in less than a month on Dec. 13.
T.J. Yates started the first game Hoyer missed, but tore a knee ligament. He was replaced by Brandon Weeden, and despite his solid play the past two weeks in putting the Texans in position for the AFC South title, coach Bill O'Brien said Weeden will likely head back to the bench.
• Indianapolis put Charlie Whitehurst on injured reserve, leaving recently signed Stephen Morris as the only healthy quarterback on the roster, with Andrew Luck having missed eight games and Matt Hasselbeck doubtful for Sunday.
• Oakland fullback Marcel Reece was suspended four games without pay for violating NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. He will miss the season finale and the first three games of 2016 as well as the Pro Bowl.
• San Diego safety Eric Weddle was fined $10,000 by the team for staying on the sideline at halftime of a Dec. 20 home game to watch his daughter dance in a program sponsored by Chargers cheerleaders, agent David Canter said. Canter said he plans to file a grievance.