NFL to interview players named in PED film

Green Bay Packers linebackers Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison will be interviewed by the NFL after they were named in an Al-Jazeera America report linking them to performance-enhancing drugs, according to a letter obtained by ESPN.

Adolpho Birch, NFL senior vice president of labor policy and league affairs, wrote that the league will meet with the three players at the start of training camp. The Packers open camp July 26, and the Steelers begin training camp July 29.

Free-agent linebacker Mike Neal will meet with the league by July 22, according to the letter.

The NFL wrote that it has attempted since early April to schedule interviews with the players, saying delays by the NFL Players Association have “obstructed our ability to conduct and conclude the investigation.” The league said it first notified the players about the investigation in January.

Now-retired quarterback Peyton Manning was the highest-profile name linked to PEDs in the Al-Jazeera America documentary that aired in December. It alleged that Manning was given a supply of human growth hormone in 2011 from an Indiana-based anti-aging clinic.

Manning was not mentioned in the NFL letter, but a source told USA Today that the investigation is still progressing. Charlie Sly, a man identified as a pharmacist who allegedly spoke to an undercover reporter working for the network, later recanted his story.

USA Today Sports first reported details of the letter. An NFLPA spokesman declined comment to the newspaper.

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