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Transcript: Peyton Manning interviews with ESPN's Lisa Salters

Posted Dec 27, 2015

The Broncos' quarterback denies accusations made by an Al Jazeera report to ESPN's Lisa Salters

So tell me, Peyton, what was your reaction to the Al Jazeera report that you had human growth hormone mailed to your home while you were recovering from neck surgery?
“I think I rotate, Lisa, between being angry, furious, on and on, but disgusted is really how I feel—sickened by it. I'm not sure I understand how someone can make something up about somebody, admit that he made it up and yet somehow it gets published in a story.

"I don't understand that. Maybe you can explain it me or somebody else can. It's completely fabricated. Complete trash, garbage. There are some more adjectives I'd like to be able to use, but it really makes me sick. It makes me sick that it brings Ashley (his wife) into it, her medical history, her medical privacy being violated. That makes me sick. I don't understand that.

"I'm in the middle of my throwing workout—which I enjoy doing that—and I've got to interrupt this workout to come and talk about this. It's not right. I don't understand it.”

Have you ever used HGH or any performance-enhancing drug?
"Absolutely not. Absolutely not. What hurts me the most about this is that whoever this guy is, this slapstick trying to insinuate that in 2011 when I more or less had a broken neck—I don't know, four neck surgeries, a broken neck, I'm sure there is a difference in there, but I had a bad neck—I busted my butt to get healthy.

"I did a lot of hard work. I saw a lot of doctors. I went to the Guyer clinic. He had a hyperbaric chamber that the Colts trainers and doctors thought might be good for me. They went with me and thought it might help. I don't know if it helped. It didn't hurt. The time ended up being probably my best medicine, along with a lot of hard work, and that really stings me that whoever this guy is insinuated I cut corners, I broke NFL rules, in order to get healthy.

"It's a joke. It's a freaking joke.”

You mentioned your wife. Their source for this report is a guy, Charlie Sly—used to work at the Guyer Institute. He says that they actually mailed medications to your home under your wife's name.
“I don't know this guy. I've never heard of this guy up until this report. I've never met this guy.

"Any medical treatments that my wife received, that's her business. That has nothing to do with me. Nothing that's ever been sent to her or my wife has used have I ever taken. Absolutely not. I have my treatments that I do. She may have hers, and that's her business.

"There is no connection between the two. I would love to understand why this guy is saying this, why he's making it up and then he admits that he makes it up, yet it still becomes a story. I'd like to be told and explained that.”

You went to the Guyer Institute ...?

And you've had treatments and you've had medications from there before?

What kind of stuff did they do for you?
“Hyperbaric chamber. I went with the Colts trainers, Colts doctors. Hyperbaric chamber. Something called ECCP, which is supposed to create blood flow in your muscles. You've got to do 35 consecutive days of treatments. I did all 35 days for an hour of treatment, watched Hoda and Kathy Lee during my treatment because I was there during normal business hours at 9 a.m. Eastern time.

"I did that. I was a good patient."

"Had some nutrient-IV therapies that I did that I thought may have helped me, as well. Everything was under Colts authorization. They knew about it. They went with me. Anything else this guy is insinuating is complete garbage.”

So in this age of PED use that we live in, we've seen all the athletes accused, we've seen many of the athletes deny, we've seen many of them eventually admit. So right or wrong, the cynicism is there for us. So what do you say to a little kid waking up hearing this about Peyton Manning?
“I can't speak for any other athlete. I know what I've done. I know how hard I've worked during my 18 years of playing in the NFL. There are no shortcuts in the NFL.

"I've done it the long way. I've done it the hard way. Insinuating anything otherwise is a complete and total joke. It's defamation, and it really ticks me off.”

Your initial reaction when you heard about this? Your initial reaction?
“Sick. Disgusted. It makes me want to, you know, just—can't say it on TV, but it makes me sick. It makes me nauseous.”

How do you plan to fight it?
“I plan to go throw today a little bit harder. My ball has a little extra heat on it today. I've got some built up anger, as you might understand, and I'll try to do what I can to help the Broncos get a win tomorrow night. I'm moving on. Not losing any sleep over this report, this slapstick's lies. I keep my head above it, keep pressing on, trying to get healthy, try to get back out on the field next week and practice with the team and go from there.”


How's the foot feeling?
“I had a good week, to tell you the truth. This is my fourth day throwing, and I haven't had any setbacks, which is encouraging.

"I had some soreness last week toward the end of the week and I haven't had that this week. I’ve been in communication with coach Kubiak. He watches all my throws and gives me feedback.

"This will be my last day throwing of the week, and I'll be there to help the team tomorrow night, and then sit down with coach Kubiak Tuesday and make a plan for next week.”

Coach told us that that is what you guys were looking for—a full week with no setbacks—and you had that this week. So how close are you to being able to play in a game?
“Obviously this is not ideal. It’s not a game out here. My equipment manager, he snaps the ball to me and he’s my quarterback coach.

"Jordan Taylor is my wide receiver. He’s on the practice squad. I think I will make him an active roster participant. I’ve got him honed in pretty good.

"Brooks is our groundskeeper. He’s catching routes pretty good. And then Josh is our operations manager. He is catching routes pretty good. These guys will be the MVP of their flag football team. I need to get back—I need to take the next step and be on the practice field, but I have pushed the limits, pushed the envelope this week with my throwing, with my drill work.

"I’m a pretty good quarterback coach. I know how to put myself through trials, and so I’ve had a good week. I hope to get back on the practice field next week and then hopefully, possibly get on the field.”

And once you are ready to play in a game, possibly next week, possibly the week after if that’s the situation, should you be the starter?
“I’ve got to do whatever Coach [Kubiak] feels is best for the team. It’s been an interesting year about that, I’m not going to lie. I’ve had a good attitude about it. I think I’ve learned a lot about myself, I’ve been a good teammate, I’ve tried to help Brock in any way I can.

"It’s new to me. I’ll do whatever is best for the team come next week. If they need me to play and be in there, then I’ll be ready. But if they don’t feel that’s the best for the team, then I’ll respect that decision and do what I can to help the team.”

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