The Office of the Commissioner of the MLB has cleared Philadelphia Phillies baseman Ryan Howard and Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) use allegations, based on a report in an Al Jazeera-produced documentary. Based on the report, the MLB “did not find violations”, which exonerates Howard and Zimmerman from the charges.
According to sources, the Al Jazeera documentary called “Dark Side”, was aired in December last year, and claimed that the Phillies baseman and Nationals infielder, along with several other athletes, received the PEDs from an Indianapolis-based anti-aging clinic. A video of the documentary can be seen below.
The MLB immediately looked into the matter and after almost eight months of investigation, found Howard and Zimmerman clear of any of the PED allegations. The Office of the Commissioner also released a statement which exonerates Howard and Zimmerman from the charges in the Al Jazeera documentary. A copy of the statement can be seen below.
MLB statement regarding Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman: pic.twitter.com/cqulaEHwQF
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) August 19, 2016
NFL athletes were also involved in the PED allegations, including former American football star Peyton Manning, Clay Matthews and Mike Neal of the Packers, Julius Peppers of the Bears and James Harrison of the Steelers. Manning was so insulted by the allegations that he planned on suing Al Jazeera.
Howard and Zimmerman also pursued legal action against the broadcasting company, filing a defamation suit against them in response to the PED allegations.
“Al Jazeera’s irresponsible reporting forced me to take this action to protect my name and to fight back against the spreading of these lies.” said Howard in a statement from ESPN.
Pharmacist Charlie Sly, who was the key source of the documentary had also recanted his statement to Al Jazeera. According to ESPN, “Sly said he was ‘testing’ Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter by dropping names like Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard and James Harrison. He said none were clients.” in their report last December.
Photo Courtesy: Mike Licht/ Flickr