Monday, December 28, 2015

Manning Hires Ari Fleischer To Respond To Doping Allegations

Ari Fleischer (Getty Images)
Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, has been hired by Peyton Manning to manage his public response to allegations by a former pharmacy intern at the Guyer Institute (since recanted) that Manning received HGH treatments as a patient of the anti-aging clinic according to NBC Sports.
. . . Peyton isn’t content to rely simply on his denial. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer also has been enlisted to speak on Manning’s behalf.
“There’s no truth to it,” Fleischer said of the report, via Troy E. Renck and Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. “What they have is a well-known con man from England who secretly recorded a former intern.”
Manning's public denials regarding the Al Jazeera undercover report have been most emphatic. Some reporters, however, are starting to focus more on the lack of a statement issued on behalf of Peyton's wife, Ashley, whom Sly originally claimed received mailed HGH treatments intended for Peyton's use. Manning does not deny that he or his wife received treatments at the anti-aging Guyer Institute; only that his treatments did not involve the use of the banned HGH. NBC Sports elaborated on this point:
It’s odd that Manning would quibble over the notion that he and Ashley went to the clinic “after hours” with a precise explanation of when they arrived there, presumably to account preemptively for the possibility that other current or former employees of the Guyer Institute will decide to provide details regarding Manning’s situation, on or off the record. It’s also noteworthy that, despite Fleischer presumably providing a comprehensive media strategy for dealing with the situation, Ashley Manning has not yet issued a statement denying the purchase or receipt of HGH.
With so many statements and reports and developments emerging in a fairly short time frame, it’s fair to wonder what the next statement, report, or development will be. Either way, the story has quickly mushroomed into something that could potentially be far more damaging to Manning’s legacy than his on-field performance from what could be his last NFL season.
This whole story reminded me of that Joseph Mobarecki case from a few years ago. He's the guy police arrested for possession of more than $100,000 worth of anabolic steroids, which police believe he had been dealing to a number of prominent athletes. One of our former corrupt local prosecutors, Carl Brizzi, made a plea agreement with Mobarecki's attorney, Paul Page, who also just happened to be Brizzi's business partner, under which Brizzi returned to Mobarecki $10,000 of the $17,000 police had seized from Mobarecki at the time of his arrest and allowed him to plead guilty to just one felony offense. Mobarecki served just 2 days in jail after pleading guilty and paying a $365 fine. There was no follow-up investigation to determine who Mobarecki's drug clients were. Page later pleaded guilty to real estate fraud in connection with a business deal where Brizzi was his partner. Thanks to our former U.S. Attorney and Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett, Carl Brizzi skated on all of the crimes he committed while acting as the prosecutor of the state's largest county. And then there was the prescription drug fraud case involving Colts owner Jim Irsay that Brizzi's predecessor, Scott Newman, swept completely under the rug. There is probably no other place in America where the rich and privileged can get away with breaking the law so easily than Indianapolis. I don't think Manning has anything to worry about even if he or his wife did anything wrong.

UPDATE: Here's an interesting perspective that WTHR sports analyst Bob Kravitz shared on the allegations. Kravitz actually received HGH treatments from Dr. Guyer at one point and doesn't exactly provide a ringing endorsement for his unconventional medical practice:
Several years ago, I wrote a column and quoted former Colt Anthony Gonzalez, who is now out of football, insisting that HGH use was common in NFL locker rooms and the league and the NFLPA needed desperately to come to an agreement on testing. Gonzalez couldn’t, or wouldn’t, provide a percentage of players using the drug, which is used medically for various ailments including wasting from AIDS. But, he said, it was significant, and needed to be removed from the game.
I’m going to share something with you: About a decade ago or more, I was dealing with several health issues and, in desperation, went to see Dr. Guyer at the Guyer Institute on 82nd Street. Guyer, and his practice, are currently at the center of this growing scandal. My primary complaint was overwhelming and relentless fatigue, and after trying several different remedies, Guyer put me on HGH for a couple of months. He told me it would help with my energy and basically bring me back to the land of the living. Unfortunately, it had zero impact – except on my bank account.
I quit using it, and years later, doctors eventually discovered what my issues were and addressed them properly.
It’s safe to assume that if Manning did, in fact, receive HGH from Dr. Guyer, he used it in an effort to recover from the multiple neck surgeries that sidelined him the entire 2011 season and put his career in peril. This was a time when Manning was desperate to return to the field, even going overseas to try some procedures that are not yet accepted in the United States.
If it’s true, though, Manning cheated. No, he wasn’t trying to gain an edge from performance-enhancing drugs, as so many athletes do. He was simply attempting to return to the football field.
But no matter.
Whatever it was allegedly used for, it was wrong, and if proven, Manning has a major issue on his hands . . . 


Anonymous said...

"There is probably no other place in America where the rich and privileged can get away with breaking the law so easily than Indianapolis. I don't think Manning has anything to worry about even if he or his wife did anything wrong."

So very true to any sentient observer of the local or statewide /Hoosier political scene, Democrat or Republican.

Anonymous said...

I’m sure the people looking to take Manning down will point to how his on field production plummeted when the NFL began formally testing for HGH, but a larger question needs to be asked. The Colts are a multi-billion dollar entity with access to the best doctors and specialists money can buy and Manning still found it necessary to go to a strip-mall “anti-aging” clinic in order to recover from his surgery?

Anonymous said...

Brizzi was a scumbag and probably still is a scumbag and he was a terrible public servant and even today not somebody that I would trust. And if he thinks the fine people of Indianapolis will ever trust him again he's mistaken, but then he's a man who's been mistaken about a lot in his career, if you can call it a career.

guy77money said...

The last laugh will (and already is) on Manning. Yes he gets rich playing football, but he has a body of a 70 year old. I will be curious when he (if he hits 60) gets older how beat up and hurt he will feel after playing football into his 40's. Apparently he needs someone to take off his shoes and pants after a practice or a game. I will take my health and my (the Concussion movie with Wil Smith was very good) mind over a mindless football game.

Downtown Indy said...

Al Jazeera is not the place I go to when I am looking for reliable information. I am really surprised so many are paying attention to them. Oh, and the guy who started the whole thing admitted he made it up.

Gary R. Welsh said...

DI, I notice nobody is talking about Taylor Teagarden, the Cubs catcher who was caught on the Al Jazeera undercover video at Sly's home talking about his use of HGH. He's not commenting, unlike the other players, who issued statements denying the allegations. Yes, Sly recanted his claims, but his claims that both Peyton and Ashley received medical treatments of some sort at the Guyer Institute have proven to be true regardless of whether he had first-hand knowledge of the treatment they received there. Peyton noticeably has not denied Ashley received HGH treatments. Sly's statements have him in a lot of trouble. A defamation lawsuit brought by Manning against him is the least of his concerns. Sly was clearly shown on that video offering drugs of some sort to Collins. I found no evidence he is a licensed pharmacist in Texas. If he had HGH, then he was dispensing them in violation of the law. He's also got problems with HIPAA violations for discussing the medical treatment the Mannings received at the Guyer Institute. The bottom line is that Sly had compelling legal reasons to deny everything he said to Collins. It will be interesting to see if Texas officials decide to investigate him based on the video evidence alone. Al Jazeera's reporting may not have been up to the standards one would expect, but they appear to have stumbled on to some truths that are yet to be fully developed.

Anonymous said...

I have an old draft dodging friend who fled here and went to Canada where he apparently became a successful journalist. Like all useful friends he often has insights and is willing to share them. His batting average has been quite good. Long before Al Gore sold out to Al Jazeera he remarked of them that they were quite solid journalists. I failed to ask him if he didn't mean like MEMRI or other fairly one sided dispensers of news that fits their agenda (see New York times, WAPO, NATIONAL REVIEW).
Another friend, same high school class, informs me that aside from Howard Stern, she finds lots of useful information in those rags sold at check out counters. National Enquirer comes to mind. She is a brilliant lawyer and CPA being fairly expert on Federal Income Taxation. I think her view is that these rags take full advantage of the freedom of the press and are not in any way a controlled media.
In the instant case I'm just a reader with no special insights. I'm not into the three headed cow or the Image of Mary on a potato chip but the rags have broken a number of stories that the controlled media would not touch.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the Guyer Institute came out and said that Sly only worked there in 2013 and not in 2011 as he claimed. But Al Jazerra posted a video of them calling Guyer ( on speaker) a month ago asking for an employment check and Guyer clearly statesee that he started there in October 2011.

Anonymous said...

Agree on it being suspect that Guyer changed the timeline they first told the reporter which correlates with Sly's license in IPLA. Manning will get a free pass because he is Indy's feel good football story. Since he was flying to Europe for treatments not legal here, why wouldn't he also use? Watching the documentary it is very credible and Sly was obviously Dr Feelgood for many athletes including the baseball player that was literally hanging out with him in the apartment bragging about taking his stuff and testing clean. If you played football past seventh grade you know PED's are everywhere- let's stop pretending financially motivated super human athletes are not taking anything they can get. AJ has actually been one of the most interesting and reliable news sources for a very long time...there seems to be a hatred of it from some in the US because we could not their excellent control occupation reporting including much higher civilian casualties that did not always fit the narrative our Country was peddling.