Peyton Manning Hired Private Investigators to Track Down His Accuser in Al Jazeera Doping Story

peyton manning secret investigation al jazeera doping charlie sly

According to a fascinating new investigation by the Washington Post, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and his lawyers hired private investigators after Al Jazeera asked him to comment on the doping allegations they were about to make. And when those investigators traced the allegations back to pharmacist Charlie Sly, they showed up at his parents’ house right before Christmas, wearing black trench coats and acting shady, which scared the hell out of the family and prompted them to call 911.

So basically, if we stopped the story right there, it would sound like Peyton ordered a shakedown. Which is just bizarre.

That’s not where we’re going to stop the story, though. As it turns out, the private investigators turned out to be pretty polite, so by the time the police arrived on December 22, the Slys told them everything was okay. Then they arranged for the investigators to visit again the next day, when their son Charlie would be home for the holidays.

On December 23, with the Slys’ lawyer listening in on speaker phone, Charlie Sly told Peyton Manning’s private investigators that he made all the allegations up because he was trying to impress Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter, who he thought was a potential business partner. Then, the next morning, Sly recorded the video in which he recanted all the allegations. On his dad’s iPhone. In his parents’ dining room.

At the time, Sly did not know the private investigators worked for Peyton Manning because they would not reveal the name of their employer. However, Sly surely figured they worked for one of the athletes he had inadvertently accused of doping.

Of course, this revelation of a private investigation only serves to thicken the plot of this ongoing scandal. Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary hired by Manning as a crisis management consultant, says the private investigators in no way influenced or coerced Sly into recanting his accusations. Moreover, Sly’s laywer, Travis Cohron, described the December 23 conference call as “a very cordial discussion.”

However, the fact that Peyton Manning’s investigators got to Charlie Sly before he recanted his story makes a huge difference in the way we interpret these events.  Even if the investigators did not coerce Sly, when private investigators show up at your parent’s house asking questions, potential legal action is pretty much implied.

Hopefully the investigations currently underway by MLB and NFL will get to the bottom of everything.

Hat Tip – [Washington Post]