Well, Ryan Howard, who claims the allegations in an Al Jazeera documentary – that he was supplied steroid-like drug Delta-2 by Charlie Sly, the man at the center of the Peyton Manning story – are completely false, might need to explain a connection he has to Sly and a few other athletes Sly said he provided PEDs to.
With the help of my New York Times colleagues Ken Belson and Doris Burke, I scrutinized the list of names, and it soon appeared less random than at first blush. Nearly all of the athletes he named are clients of Jason Riley, a fitness trainer based in Sarasota, Fla.
Here is where the story of Charles Sly becomes more intriguing.
Sly is a business partner of Riley’s. When Sly applied for a pharmacist license in Florida, he used Riley’s home address.
Riley and Sly founded Elementz Nutrition, a nutritional supplements company whose website and Facebook page feature many athletes Sly mentioned on camera. Zimmerman is featured on the website; Howard, Neal and Keller on the Facebook page. In one photograph on Facebook, Riley poses at his gym, the Compound, between the mountainous Howard and the no less imposing Neal.
Suddenly, the Howard-Zimmerman-Neal connection begins to make sense.
The New York Times report was clear that there was no evidence linking Riley to PEDs, or further evidence linking Howard, Neal, Zimmerman and others to PEDs. But, many of these seemingly random players in Sly’s accusations… are actually connected.
There’s another player whom Riley is credited with helping “turn back the clock”: Derek Jeter.