A documentary scheduled to air Sunday night on Al Jazeera will reportedly link MLB players Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, and Taylor Teagarden to a pharmacist named Charlie Sly who worked for an Indiana-based anti-aging clinic in 2011 and admitted recently on secret video recordings that he provided PEDs — primarily HGH — to a number of professional athletes. Peyton Manning, James Harrison, and Mike Tyson are among the other big names.
Travis Waldron and Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post were given a preview copy of the documentary and have further details.
Sly made the admissions about Howard and Zimmerman to British hurdler Liam Collins, who told Sly he wanted to obtain performance-enhancing drugs to make a run at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Teagarden is apparently shown discussing his own PED use on an undercover video in the Al Jazeera report.
Howard and Zimmerman have not aged well and Teagarden has spent most of his career in the minor leagues, so it’s not the juiciest of PED stories on the baseball end. Manning is obviously going to dominate the news cycle. But there’s still the potential here for major fallout in Major League Baseball, which has very publicly attempted to clamp down on HGH with stiffer penalties and in-season blood testing.
Howard is owed $25 million from the Phillies in 2016 with a $10 million buyout for 2017. Zimmerman has four years and $60 million remaining on his contract with the Nationals. If the allegations are proven true, they could both face the 80-game suspension given to first-time PED offenders. Those suspensions would be without pay.
Teagarden, currently a free agent, would also get popped for 80 games.
William Burck, an attorney at Quinn Emanuel who represents both Howard and Zimmerman, issued this statement early Sunday morning to MLB Trade Rumors …
“It’s inexcusable and irresponsible that Al Jazeera would provide a platform and broadcast outright lies about Mr. Howard and Mr. Zimmerman. 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.”
Sly has recanted the claims he made to Collins, calling Collins a “reputed fraudster.”