NFL Clears James Harrison, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers In PED Investigation - uSports.org

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PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 30: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is introduced prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Heinz Field on November 30, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

NFL Clears James Harrison, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers In PED Investigation

The NFL announced Wednesday that it has cleared three of the four active players targeted in its performance-enhancing drug probe.

NFL Clears James Harrison, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers In Investigation

The league found no concrete evidence that either Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison or Green Bay Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers were provided with or used substances prohibited by the performance-enhancing drug policy.

Accusations against the players were first raised in an Al Jazeera America report and documentary, The Dark Side, in December. The league previously cleared recently-retired quarterback Peyton Manning, citing no credible evidence.

The NFL issued a statement on the matter Wednesday:

“The NFL found no credible evidence that Pittsburgh’s James Harrison and Green Bay’s Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers were provided with or used substances prohibited under the NFL-NFLPA Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances following a comprehensive investigation into allegations made in a documentary by Al Jazeera America, it was announced today. 

The three players participated in interviews last week at their team facilities. 

Initiated in January, the investigation was led by the NFL’s security and legal teams with support from expert consultants and other professionals. The investigation involved witness interviews, a review of relevant records and other materials, electronic research, and laboratory analysis and review.”

An investigation into the fourth player, free-agent linebacker Mike Neal, remains ongoing. Neal also submitted to interviews last week following months of delays as the union pushed back at the league’s ability to compel players to speak.

The documentary’s main source, a former Guyer Institute intern pharmacist named Charlie Sly, recanted his words following its release. He was recorded with a hidden camera by Al Jazeera America when he made his original statements.

Harrison had previously requested in June that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell attend the interview at his home, and later stated he thought the interview should be broadcast live.

Harrison, 38, had a heightened sensitivity to the allegations given his age and physical shape. In a sworn affidavit he provided prior to the interview, he vehemently denied obtaining the supplement “Delta-2,” which Slay associated with Harrison during the documentary.

PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 30: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is introduced prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Heinz Field on November 30, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Written by Pablo Mena

Writer and assistant editor for usports.org. NY Giants and Rangers fan. Film and TV enthusiast (especially Harry Potter and The Office) and lover of foreign languages and cultures.