Packers’ Matthews, Peppers strongly deny report on PEDs

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Members of the Packers defense strongly denied any ties to performance-enhancing drugs after they were named in a report by Al Jazeera on doping.

The report that aired Sunday was based on secret recordings of Charles Sly, a former intern at an Indianapolis anti-aging institute who now says he fabricated the allegations. The report named several athletes, including Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and three Green Bay defensive players: Clay Matthews, Mike Neal and Julius Peppers.

Matthews called the allegations ''100 percent false.''

''I work hard on my reputation, and really that's all I have,'' Matthews said after the team's loss in Arizona on Sunday. ''For seven years, I worked my ass off, you know, for this guy to say those types of things, it's not true. And especially for him to recant everything that he said, too, I think it really just goes to show this source as well. I mean, the truth will come out, and I'm not worried about it because I carry myself a certain way and that's the right way.''

Peppers said he was a little shocked by the report.

''It's completely erroneous and I think it's irresponsible journalism, in my opinion,'' said Peppers. ''I'm subject to the same steroid and drug-testing policy as everybody else, so I don't understand how I could be linked to something like this. I do not know anybody that's involved in this.''

Peppers is finishing his second year in Green Bay. Neal was drafted by the Packers in 2010 in the second round.

''You might as well stop asking me questions,'' Neal said when asked about the report, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. ''I mean, I'm sure you saw how (angry) Peyton Manning was about somebody coming out with false accusations.''

Al Jazeera sent a British hurdler undercover to expose PEDs use in sports, and the secret recordings were made of Sly, a former intern at the Guyer Institute, where Manning was treated in 2011 following four neck surgeries. Manning called the claims ''completely fabricated'' and Sly has since said the statements attributed to him ''are absolutely false and incorrect.''

''I'll just say this: All of our teams adhere to the NFL policies and I'll stand behind that,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

This story has been corrected to show Neal's first name is Mike.