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ESPN to Cover Manning Allegations in MNF Pre-game

ESPN's Mike Tirico and Lisa Salters will look at the Peyton Manning steroid-use allegations in its pre-kickoff coverage Monday of the Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals Monday Night Football game.

An Al Jazeera investigative piece, The dark side: The secret world of sports doping, included allegations that human growth hormone (HGH) had been sent to the Denver quarterback's wife, and suggested he had used it following a potential career-ending neck injury. He later set an NFL record for most passes in a season. Manning categorically denied the allegations in a Facebook posting and in an ESPN interview Dec. 27, and which have since been denied by the person who made them. Al Jazeera conceded the disavowal in its online version of the piece.

"The allegation that I would do something like that is complete garbage and is totally made up. It never happened. Never. I really can't believe somebody would put something like this on the air," he said. "I have had nutrient therapy, oxygen therapy and other treatments that are holistic in nature but never HGH."

ESPN's pre-game coverage of the story will include sound from the Sunday interview and footage from Manning workouts with the team this week.

Manning has reportedly said he is considering suing Al Jazeera, though First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams told CNBC that the law is "protective" of journalists.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.