Howard's lawyer denies Al Jazeera report linking slugger to doping ring

Ryan Howard is implicated in a doping ring, but the main source of the investigation has already recanted his statements and claimed he "made up" information.

By PATRICK GORDON, Managing Editor
December 27, 2015, 6:00 PM EST.
@PGordonPBR

The lawyer for Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard denied an Al Jazeera investigative report on Sunday claiming the first baseman received performance-enhancing drugs.

William Burck of Quinn Emanuel represents Howard and offered this statement:

"It's inexcusable and irresponsible that Al Jazeera would provide a platform and broadcast outright lies about Mr. Howard.

"The extraordinarily reckless claims made against our clients in this report are completely false and rely on a source who has already recanted his claims. We will go to court to hold Al Jazeera and other responsible parties accountable for smearing our clients' good names."

Al Jazeera is scheduled to air the investigative report on Sunday night.

The report follows British hurdler Liam Collins, an undercover investigator who connects with Charlie Sly, a pharmacist who alleges he worked at the Guyer Institute in 2011.

Sly mentions Howard by name in the report, suggesting the first baseman was a recipient of shipments of Delta-2, a hormone that is characterized as "steroidal in nature" but is not an anabolic steroid.

Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals is also implicated in the report, along with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Major League Baseball has already promised to launch an investigation.

"Major League Baseball was not made aware of the allegations until yesterday and was not provided information other than what has been reported," an MLB spokesman said in a statement. "We intend to conduct a thorough investigation."

Sly recanted his statements when he realized information he had "made up" to Collins was going to be part of an investigative report.

"The statements on any recordings or communications that Al Jazeera plans to air are absolutely false and incorrect," Sly said in a story by The Associated Press. "To be clear, I am recanting any such statements -- and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air. Under no circumstances should any of those recordings, statements or communications be aired."

 Dr. Dale Guyer released a statement Sunday, emphasizing that Sly never was an employee of the Guyer Institute and simply was an intern for three months in 2013.

"I have no reason to believe these allegations are based in fact or have any truth," Guyer said. "In fact, I can say with absolute certainty they are not. I find it extremely disturbing that the source of Al Jazeera's story, a former unpaid intern named Charles Sly, would violate the privacy of Mrs. Manning's medical records and be so callous and destructive as to purposely fabricate and spread stories that are simply not true.

"I would emphasize that Mr. Sly was never an employee of the Guyer Institute and his brief three-month internship occurred in 2013 during which time Peyton was not even being treated or present in the office. I think it is obvious that Mr. Sly has fabricated this whole thing for reasons I cannot fathom. I am proud to have treated Peyton and helped him through his rehabilitation. Mr. Manning is one of the most honorable and upstanding individuals I have had the pleasure of knowing."

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news source in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of all things baseball related in the Philadelphia region.

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