Deborah Davies, an investigative reporter for Al Jazeera who produced a recent report on athletes and performance-enhancing drugs, defended the network's reporting Tuesday during an appearance on NBC's Today show.
Al Jazeera reported Sunday that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was one of several high-profile athletes who were supplied performance-enhancing drugs by an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic. The network reported that human growth hormone was sent to Manning's house in Florida in 2011 while he was recovering from neck surgery. Al Jazeera reported that the shipments were addressed to Manning's wife, Ashley.
Manning said Sunday he was "furious" and "disgusted" by the report and said he has never used HGH. Manning did acknowledge that he received treatment at the Guyer Institute, however.
On Tuesday, Davies said she never alleged that Manning used HGH, but reported that the substance was "repeatedly sent" to Manning's wife. Davies said Manning has not denied that HGH was shipped to his wife.
Later, Ari Fleischer, a spokesman for Manning, issued this statement: "Al Jazeera is backtracking and retreating. Their story was not credible to begin with and it's not credible now. Within 48 hours of the broadcast, Deborah Davies is now contradicting her own reporting."
Davies also defended her source for the story, pharmacy student Charlie Sly, saying he was credible. Sly has since recanted his allegations to ESPN and others.
Late Monday, Al Jazeera released a video recording of Davies calling the Guyer Institute and asking for employment dates for Sly, whom the network reported was a pharmacist there in 2011, while Manning received treatment. The woman who answered the phone at the clinic told Davies that Sly was employed at the clinic as an intern beginning on Oct. 17, 2011. Sly and the director of the clinic have both said that Sly was an intern at the clinic for three months in 2013.
ESPN asked Guyer for comment on the video but has not received a response.