NFL expects to talk with Packers on drug report

Posted at 7:00 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 20:51:09-04
An NFL spokesman reportedly has said that players implicated in an Al Jazeera America story about the league and distribution of drugs can expect to be interviewed in the next few weeks.
Three of those players in the story include current Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers and former Packers linebacker Mike Neal.
“It’s our expectation that we will interview the players involved over the next month or so,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told USA TODAY columnist Christine Brennan. He also said the NFL is talking with the NFL Players Association about "the timing of the interviews."
One of the men allegedly involved said that Neal brought at least a dozen Packers players into his circle as part of his distribution efforts.
The report also names athletes like Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (who has heavily denied his involvement), Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and Washington Nationals superstar Ryan Zimmerman.
You can see the full Al Jazeera America report below.
One of the two men who accused Packers players has attempted to recant his claims, both through social media and through media outlets such as ESPN.
Al Jazeera America embedded an athlete in this hidden camera investigation.
Liam Collins, a British track and field athlete, essentially played the role of an athlete who was trying for "one last shot at Olympic glory" for the investigation.
Al Jazeera says he used cameras to meet with many people allegedly involved in doping athletes. One of them was, according to the network, a Vancouver-based pharmacist named Chad Robertson.
"Have I doped people? Oh, yeah," stated Robertson in what Al Jazeera said was a phone conversation.
"No one's got caught because the system is so easy to beat, and it still is."
Al Jazeera said that Collins and Robertson met in person.
At about the 25:25 mark of the video above, Robertson made these claims about Neal and Matthews.
Narrator: "He claims to have already helped American football player Mike Neal, who also appears in the presentation from Robertson's new sports medicine company. Neal won a Super Bowl ring in 2011."
Robertson: "Mike Neal, here's a great story. We dropped his fat weight. He plays for the Green Bay Packers. We changed his position from a defensive lineman to a linebacker. His salary (after working) with us went from making $400,000 a year to $2 million a year in four years. That's results."
Narrator: "With his Packers teammate Clay Matthews, Robertson claims he helped in a different way."
Robertson: "The NFC Championship Game, it was Green Bay, it was Seattle. I had Clay Matthews who is badly injured. We sent some narcotics to kill the pain because he could barely get up out of bed."
Narrator: "Later, Robertson named the drug as Percoset, which isn't banned, which should only be prescribed by a doctor. Neither Mike Neal nor Clay Matthews replied to our request for comment about Chad Robertson's claims."
About 37:29 into the video, Collins talked with Charlie Sly, whom Al Jazeera said was a doctor of pharmacy based in Texas.  He spoke of his relationship with Neal, Peppers and Matthews and, apparently, other Packers players.
Sly: "Some guys just take it every day, like they refuse to stop it."
Interviewer: "Who's like the biggest hard head?"
Sly: "I don't know, maybe Mike Neal."
Narrator: "Charlie Sly claimed Mike Neal was a good friend. Through him, he met several other Green Bay Packers players."
Sly: "Last year, I went out to Green Bay for like, six weeks. I set Mike's stuff up, but then, like, he started bringing everybody. I'm not even joking. More than half the team started to come by."
Interviewer: "Honestly?"
Sly: "Yeah."
Interviewer: "Like who?"
Sly: "So Julius I would do everything, usually at Mike Neal's house or Julius' house."
Interviewer: "What's Julius like?"
Sly: "He's really cool, yeah."
Interviewer: "Is he pretty receptive to all this stuff?"
Sly: "Yeah. He's old, too. He's like 36."
Interviewer: "How does he find the D2...does he like it?"
Sly: "Yeah, but he doesn't take it that often. He might only take it two days a week, more for just recovery. He's already pretty big."
Sly: "I probably talked to, I don't know, 25 people there."
Interviewer: "Already directed them, or..."
Sly: "I probably already directed like 10 of them, 12 of them. The thing that's good about the Delta 2 is I could just tell them where to order it from. I didn't have to get involved with it."
Sly: "Do you know who Clay Matthews is?
Interviewer: "Yeah."
Sly: "I just got a text from him."
Interviewer: "Oh yeah?"
Sly: "So, he plays with my friend Mike Neal. He wants Toradol, like, in an oral form."
Interviewer: "What's the benefit of Toradol?"
Sly: "It's a powerful anti-inflammatory."
Interviewer: "Where's he getting problems with?"
Sly: "His ankle."
Narrator: "Long term use of Toradol is so dangerous that it's banned in some countries, but not the U.S. Charlie Sly says that Matthews is also using newer drugs, to boost his hormone levels and avoid detection."
Sly: "He takes Ipamorelin. I don't think that he takes HGH anymore, just because of the potential for a blood test."
Interviewer: "What about the D2? Is Clay on the D2?"
Sly: "No. I didn't want to, like, push the envelope with him because he is kind of a high profile guy. So, unless he asks for more, I'm not going to try and push it on him."
Narrator: "Mike Neal, Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews didn't respond to our request for comment. Neither did the Green Bay Packers."
Since the reports came out, Sly has used multiple outlets to recant the overall story.
One, according to many media outlets, was through social media.

Another was through ESPN, where he said he was "testing" Al Jazeera's reporter by dropping names of various high-profile athletes.