In the midst of criticism from those who think that the NFL has applied different standards to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady regarding #DeflateGate and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning regarding allegations of HGH use, the NFL has disclosed that it is conducting a comprehensive investigation of Manning.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tells the Associated Press that the league launched an investigation “weeks ago,” and that it entails the review of records, interviews, and coordination with other agencies.
It seems to be a direct reaction to the report from ESPN that the NFL declined an invitation to collaborate with Major League Baseball and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, since that created the perception (accurate or not) that the league is brushing the entire Manning situation under the rug.
The overriding challenge from the NFL comes from its lack of power to obtain information from anyone other than Manning or any other NFL player, team, or employee. With no subpoena power, there’s one way to get the information that goes directly to the heart of the allegation that Manning’s wife received HGH for use by Peyton: To obtain from Manning and his wife legal authorization to obtain from the Guyer Institute any and all documents or other evidence regarding the treatments they received.
Without that, the league will have to wait for a prosecution of the Guyer Institute or civil litigation arising from the situation to ever get to the truth.
Regardless of whether the NFL gets to the truth, many are noticing the obvious differences between last year’s public #DeflateGate investigation and the secrecy that ordinarily applies when the league investigates potential player wrongdoing — and most can’t appreciate the nuance.