Former USC linebacker and current Green Bay Packer Clay Matthews was named in the Al Jazeera investigative documentary “The Dark Side” linking Peyton Manning and other athletes to doping.
Matthews was not connected to HGH or other performance enhancing drugs directly, as Manning, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman and others were, but pharmacist Charlie Sly claimed in undercover videos to have provided him with painkillers.
The Huffington Post summed up the claims:
"Sly also says that he provided Clay Matthews, Green Bay’s Pro Bowl linebacker, with the prescription painkiller Percocet to help him deal with pain before at least one game. He also brags in one undercover video that Matthews texted him in an attempt to obtain Toradol, a powerful painkiller that is banned in many countries but not in the United States. Harrison, Zimmerman and Howard all denied using the drugs to the network Neal, Peppers, Matthews and Tyson did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment."
The game in question was the NFC Championship Game against Seattle earlier this year, according to the documentary. Sly claimed that Matthews was so hurt he had trouble getting out of bed, so he sent over Percocet to get him through the game.
Percocet is legal in the U.S. and allowed under the NFL’s drug policy but is supposed to be prescribed by a doctor.
From a USC perspective, the Toradol link is the interesting one. Sly claimed in one of the undercover videos to have received a text from Matthews asking for Toradol in an oral form to help his injured ankle.
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The university was sued by former Trojan defensive lineman Armond Armstead over what he claimed was misuse of the anti-inflammatory painkiller by USC doctors. Armstead suffered a series of heart attacks which he linked to Toradol use. USC ultimately settled with Armstead.
Like Percocet, Toradol is legal in the U.S. and unrestricted in the NFL drug policy.
With that in mind, Matthews’ link in the documentary appears more like name dropping by Sly than an actual allegation of doping on Matthews part. However, the depth of his connection to Sly still needs answering.
For his part, Sly has denied the veracity of the claims he made in the documentary.
The NFL and MLB intend to investigate the allegations made in the documentary, according to a Washington Post report which did not name Matthews by name as one of the players who would be investigated.