One week after the question of whether HGH had been shipped to the wife of Peyton Manning during his recovery from neck surgery dominated the NFL discussion, the story disappeared. As noted by SportsBusiness Daily, none of the Sunday network shows mentioned the story, in any way.
A big reason for the silence came from the lack of developments. With Manning and his Ari Fleischer-fueled P.R. machine opting to stop talking about it, there was nothing more for anyone to say. And the attempt by Al Jazeera to belatedly vouch for the secretly-recorded conversations of former Guyer Institute intern Charles Sly with a second, unnamed source went unnoticed by most.
Via SBD, Mike Francesa of WFAN asked Jim Nantz of CBS whether the story would be mentioned during the Chargers-Broncos broadcast Nantz handled with Phil Simms.
“No, why would we?” Nantz said. “If we talk about it we would only continue to breathe life into a story that on all levels is a non-story. Why add another layer to it?”
It’s hardly a non-story, thanks to Manning’s extreme reaction to it. Most recently, Manning told reporters he’d welcome an immediate investigation by the NFL. If nothing more, Nantz, Simms, and/or Tracy Wolfson could have advanced the ball by pointing out whether the investigation already has started or would be starting soon.
They also could have pointed out that it’s one thing for Manning to sit down with investigator and reiterate his strong denial of HGH use, and that it’s quite another for Manning and his wife, Ashley, to authorize the Guyer Institute to release all records relating to the treatment Peyton received and whether and how often Ashley received HGH. Without that affirmative cooperation from the Mannings, the league lacks the power to get the information on its own.
Nantz, Simms, and/or Wolfson also could have pointed out the recent item from the New York Daily News, which ties Dale Guyer of the Guyer Institute to a man serving 50 years for fraud related to a Ponzi scheme, and whose name “surfaced in a 2007 federal indictment against Thomas Bader, a Colorado man who in 2010 was convicted of illegally importing HGH from China.” Guyer wasn’t charged, but he allegedly received HGH from Bader.
Here’s the most important thing to remember. If the smoke surrounding Guyer becomes strong enough to prompt state or federal authorities to investigate and eventually to prosecute, the records generated through that effort could eventually be used by the NFL to make decisions about whether Manning violated the PED policy.
While the dust could settle long after Manning retires from playing in the NFL, he could be working for an NFL team at the time any evidence that would satisfy the league’s relaxed “more probable than not” standard comes to light. Which would put the NFL in the awkward position of having to consider whether discipline should be imposed on an executive for something that he did as a player.
So, yeah, it’s hardly a non-story. But it’s no surprise that Nantz would dismiss it as a non-story, especially with Nantz and Simms working up to two Broncos playoffs games and a Super Bowl for which the Broncos, who are the No. 1 seed in the AFC, may qualify.