The parents of a former Indianapolis anti-aging clinic employee who made hidden-camera accusations about Peyton Manning’s alleged HGH use called 9-1-1 after goons turned up on their doorstep seeking information about their pharmacist son, Charlie Sly.
That’s just one of the revelations in a Washington Post report today in which, for the first time, a Manning spokesperson admits that part of Sly’s story was true: that the Guyer Clinic in Indianapolis did indeed ship drugs to Manning’s house as alleged by Al-Jazeera America’s documentary and later by the documentary’s producer. Manning had previously called those claims “completely fabricated.” The Manning camp refused to discuss the issue further with the Post, citing Ashley Manning’s medical privacy.
But back to that 9-1-1 call. The Washington Post reports the investigation, which was funded by Peyton Manning, featured two private dicks knocking on Randall and Judith Sly’s door—with one of them, according to the call, falsely claiming to be a cop.
The Washington Post reports Manning’s private investigation into Sly began before the documentary aired, as the network sought responses from those alleged by Sly to have used performance-enhancing drugs. The paper also reports that Al-Jazeera failed to adequately protect the identity of its sources, which led Manning’s camp (led by former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer) to the Slys’ doorstep. Manning’s spooks refused to reveal their employer to the Slys, according to the Washington Post.
Charlie Sly recanted his claims the next morning in a video filmed at his parents’ dining room table. The private investigators claim they did not impersonate law enforcement officers upon arriving at the house.The Big Lead discusses how The Post report makes clear that Manning's team was in damage control mode weeks before the Al Jazeera report aired after being tipped off by the Guyer Institute that it suspected Sly had been talking to the media organization:
What does the rest of this new information mean? Well, it means that Manning and his group were not caught off-guard in the least the day after Christmas. Ari Fleischer was already deeply involved for weeks. Manning’s representatives had a chance to review what appeared in writing in the medical records at Guyer Institute. They had an opportunity to track down and locate the source, and question him, and knew he recorded a recantation. So when Manning gave his emotional denial on Sunday, December 27th, that wasn’t a function of someone who had been blindsided.Here's how The Post described Sly's parents' frightening encounter with Manning's hired goons at their Brownsburg home:
Five days before a documentary alleged that quarterback Peyton Manning and other star athletes had used performance-enhancing drugs, two men hired by Manning’s lawyers visited the parents of the documentary’s key witness. Both men wore black overcoats and jeans and, according to a 911 call from the house that evening, one initially said he was a law enforcement officer but didn’t have a badge.
After they told their daughter to call 911 the night of Dec. 22, Randall and Judith Sly stepped outside to talk to the strangers, who clarified they were private investigators, not cops. They had come to this red brick house with a well-manicured lawn looking for the Slys’ 31-year-old son, Charlie, a pharmacist who was the primary source in the upcoming documentary . . .
The Slys, who refused multiple requests for an interview and referred all questions to their lawyer, started to realize this was not a scam when private investigators Brian Bauer and Ben Ford arrived at their home just before 5 p.m. on Dec. 22. Initially afraid, the Slys told their daughter Kaitlyn — Charlie’s younger sister, home from North Carolina for Christmas — to call 911. But by the time a police officer arrived a few minutes later, the investigators had allayed Randall and Judith’s fears.
The Slys told the officer the men could stay, dispatch notes show.
Charlie wasn’t home yet; he was due to fly in later. On Dec. 23, Bauer and Ford returned and — after the Slys put their lawyer on speakerphone — the investigators asked Charlie some questions.
As Bauer and Ford probed Sly’s background, asking about his connections to various athletes, Cohron couldn’t figure out who they worked for. “They refused to say . . . other than a party interested in the Al Jazeera documentary,” Cohron said. He added: “It was a very cordial discussion.”
Sly told the investigators what his lawyer has said since the documentary aired: He made up everything regarding performance-enhancing drugs. Later, Sly and the lawyer Cohron decided they should come up with some kind of statement to rebut the upcoming documentary.
The next morning — Christmas Eve — Sly sat at the dining room table of his parents’ home. His father recorded the 55-second statement with an iPhone.
“My name is Charles Sly,” he began. “It has come to my attention that the broadcaster Al Jazeera has somehow obtained recordings or communications of me making statements concerning a number of athletes . . . There is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air.”Like I've said before, Manning has nothing to fear. Does anyone think law enforcement here in Indiana is going to bring harm to his reputation, particularly given the risks a serious investigation could mean for the Indianapolis Colts organization? The good 'ole boys like Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller have their backs.
Note: Bauer denies in The Post story that he identified himself as a law enforcement officer when he went to the Slys' home, which he noted is against the law.