Manning calls HGH report “defamation,” so will he sue?

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In a Sunday morning interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning pulled out a legal term of art when discussing the report from Al Jazeera regarding his use of HGH in 2011.

“It’s defamation,” Manning said of the report.

The next question is whether he’ll sue Al Jazeera or anyone else for defamation of character. Manning didn’t say whether he would, and Salters didn’t ask. Still, the mere utterance of the “D” word suggests plenty.

Filing a libel or slander lawsuit carries with it plenty of risks. Apart from the heightened standard of proof that applies to public figures who believe lies have been told about them, a defamation lawsuit opens the plaintiff’s life up for full and complete inspection. The defamation claim arises from the notion that an untruth has harmed the person’s reputation in the community. To determine the damage to the person’s reputation, the person’s pre-existing reputation must be fully explored.

Which would give the lawyers representing the person(s) sued for defamation a license to poke around in the nooks and crannies of the plaintiff’s entire public and private life. For Manning, that process could begin with a revisiting of the whole “naked butt and rectum” incident from his days at the University of Tennessee.

Manning is no stranger to defamation litigation. He was sued more than a decade ago for defaming UT trainer Jamie Ann Naughright in a book Manning wrote with his father, Archie. If Peyton now chooses to sue, he needs to be aware of all potential consequences, intended and otherwise, of that tactic.

To help him become aware of the potential consequences, Manning should explore the manner in which Roger Clemens responded to PED allegations from baseball’s Mitchell report. There’s plenty about the case on the Internet, including something that a certain Internet hack once wrote about the matter for Sporting News.

10 responses to “Manning calls HGH report “defamation,” so will he sue?

  1. although i completely believe Manning i can’t help but think of ryan braun who so aggressively said he didnt take steroids even though it was so blatant they he was on roids it was almost humorous. as far as manning, i can’t stand the mannings at all but i definitely believe him that this news is garbage.

  2. manning wasn’t defamed by the Jazeera report. He’s being defamed buy his play on the field.

  3. He’s not going to sue. He’d have his whole life and medical history examined with a fine tooth comb and have to testify under oath. And he will find the courts aren’t as incompetent or manipulate-able as the NFL League Office.

    I predict a “I trusted in someone who told me what I was taking was not a banned substance and now find I was wrong to do so….”

  4. Can we go ahead and get an article on the guys that are playing and cheating later today… Mike Neal, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers… I mean the entire Packer team was implicated.

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