The NFL provided no new evidence or witnesses linking three active players to illicit conduct during interviews the league had with the trio this week, multiple sources with knowledge of the league’s investigation into the Al Jazeera performance-enhancing drugs report told Yahoo Sports.
The sources characterized the interviews of three players – the Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Harrison, and the Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers – as “basic” questions scripted entirely from the allegations in the Al Jazeera report. The sources said the interviews centered on whether there was contact or relationships between each individual and Charlie Sly, a pharmacist who was taped by the broadcast network naming the trio as PED clients.
The sources said the NFL provided no evidence corroborating Sly’s claims, and that all three players denied the allegations or having a relationship with the pharmacist. Sly has recanted his claims since the Al Jazeera report aired last December.
It’s unknown whether the interviews will officially close the book on the NFL’s investigation. However, they provide one notable turn in the probe: the league now has Matthews, Peppers and Harrison giving on-record denials that could be revisited if the NFL discovers contradictory evidence.
The league threatened suspension for the trio if they didn’t submit to a formal league interview about the report. Peppers and Matthews spoke with NFL officials on Wednesday, while Harrison had a discussion with the league on Thursday.