The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has described allegations that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning took human growth hormone (HGH) as “very concerning”. The anti-doping agency urged “increased collaboration” with sports leagues in the United States.

David Howman, director general of WADA, remarked he was nevertheless taking the Al-Jazeera report and took aim at the NFL. Howman said Al-Jazeera’s allegations are very concerning, particularly as it relates to the NFL’s and MLB’s testing programs. The director general of WADA added while the NFL and the MLB are not signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code, in recent years WADA has been working with them and other professional leagues in the United States to try to bring them closer to WADA’s program. Howman also commented that we in particular with the NFL have been offering guidance to enhance, and increase the transparency of, their testing program.

Replying to Howman’s comments, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said we, regarding the comments of Howman, have valued our long-standing association with WADA and look forward to continuing to work closely with the organization to improve the effectiveness of all anti-doping programs.

These allegations were made in an Al-Jazeera report. The December 27 investigative documentary ‘The dark side: The secret world of sports doping,’ revealed links of well-known players from the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) with performance enhancing drugs.

Peyton Manning denied the allegations denied the report that he took HGH following neck surgery in 2011. However, Manning acknowledged he visited a clinic that allegedly supplied the banned substance. The Denver Broncos quarterback said he visited the Guyer Clinic for using a hyperbaric chamber and receiving various other treatments that he said were not banned.

Manning said he used everything under the authorization of his club and added that time ended up being probably his best medicine, along with a lot of hard work. In a statement, the Broncos said they Manning 100 percent and commented these are false claims made to Al-Jazeera, and we don’t believe the report. The Colts also came to the rescue of Manning and remarked Peyton played the game in Indianapolis for 14 years the right way and added he never took any shortcuts and it would be absurd to suggest he would have taken prohibited performance enhancing drugs.

After the report went public, Major League Baseball announced it would be investigating allegations made in the Al-Jazeera documentary that many of its players took banned hormone supplement Delta-2. The NFL became the first major U.S. professional sports league in 2011 to use blood testing for HGH that brought the league closer to international standards. George Atallah, the NFLPA’s assistant executive director of external affairs, said we rejected WADA participation into our drug policies precisely because they failed to be transparent with us over these very issues. Atallah added our union is working closely with UNI Global Union to develop strong and fair standards for drug testing. The NFLPA’s assistant executive director of external affairs also remarked that any investigation by WADA should begin with an independent one into their own practices, including the scientific basis for their tests and governance.

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