"As long as they know what the testing procedure is, they will always be able to beat it," says Eddie Dominguez, former MLB investigator, in a riveting video from Al Jazeera's investigation unit. The report claims to have uncovered a drug ring that allegedly has connections with NFL superstar Peyton Manning, among others. The notion that the testing procedures can be undermined with a little knowledge is hardly new. It's just what cyclist Lance Armstrong proved when after years of denial -- and years of repeatedly passing doping tests -- Armstrong finally admitted to doping throughout his career.
The Al Jazeera report (The Dark Side) sets the stage with American sprinter Tim Montgomery, once the fastest man in the world. The report uses Montgomery's sad insider account of how athletes like him juice. Montgomery's testimony gives weight to the idea that every athlete must juice to compete, and predisposes the audience to believe doping is nearly inevitable at elite levels. Having primed the audience, Al Jazeera then sends disgraced British hurdler Liam Montgomery to buy human growth hormone (HGH) from Charlie Sly, the American pharmacist who gives up Manning's name in secretly taped conversations. Sly asserts he sent HGH to Manning's wife throughout 2011, Manning's last year in Indianapolis when he was recovering from surgery. In fact, despite Al Jazeera's dramatic presentation, the NFL didn't begin testing for HGH until 2014 and it wasn't even banned by the NFL until 2011. So it's not clear that Manning would have been breaking any rules even if the allegations were true. And there's no evidence presented, besides Charlie Sly's say-so, that Manning ever doped at all.
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Personal statement from Peyton Manning released by the Broncos ... pic.twitter.com/O5pJuwzWGF
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 27, 2015