BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- Five days before the Al Jazeera documentary aired alleging Peyton Manning and other athletes had used performance-enhancing drugs, two men hired by Manning's lawyers visited the parents of the documentary's key witness, according to a story from The Washington Post.
The story published Thursday said on Dec. 22, after telling their daughter to call 911, Randall and Judith Sly stepped outside to talk to the men, who clarified they were private investigators, not cops. The men said they were looking for the couple's son, Charles, who was the source for the documentary.
Al Jazeera reported that an intern at an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic was secretly recorded suggesting that Manning's wife received deliveries of HGH, which is banned by the league.
Manning, then with the Colts, was rehabbing from shoulder surgeries.
The intern, Charles Sly, has since recanted his story.
Manning angrily denied using performance-enhancing substances and called the report "complete garbage."
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The Washington Post story says Manning's lawyers launched a private probe after Al Jazeera starting contacting athletes who would be named in the documentary. They hired investigators to identify, locate and interrogate Sly, and sent a lawyer to examine the Manning's medical records at the Guyer Institute, according to the story.
Ari Fleisher, the crisis management consultant Manning has hired, told The Washington Post, the investigative team did nothing that would interfere with subsequent investigations. And that the lawyer who visited the Guyer Institute did not remove any records. He also said the preemptive investigation was a "natural reaction" to being asked to respond to anonymous allegations.
"When somebody accuses of you of doing something you didn't do -- and Al Jazeera refused to tell us who it was -- it's only logical to say, 'Who is it, and why are they doing this?' That's human nature," Fleischer told The Washington Post.