MLB Clears Ryan Howard in Drug Probe

Ryan Howard, accused of using a drug called Delta-2 last year, was cleared by Major League Baseball after an investigation. Howard has sued Al Jazeera.

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball announced today it had cleared Phillies slugger Ryan Howard in its investigation into the Al Jazeera performance-enhancing drug report released late last year.

The international media giant’s report into the world of sports doping used an undercover athlete to secretly record people peddling PEDs. It linked Howard, two-time Super Bowl champ Peyton Manning, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and others to edge-enhancing drugs. MLB cleared Zimmerman today also; the NFL is investigating other football players named in the report.

“This thorough investigation did not find any violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Howard of Zimmerman,” MLB said in its statement. “Both Howard and Zimmerman fully cooperated with the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.” Charlie Sly, the pharmacist secretly recorded in the report who accused the two baseball players, did not cooperate with MLB.

Howard and Zimmerman were accused of using Delta-2, a PED with a mixed record of effectiveness. (Combining it with peptide, the substance Lane Johnson said he tested positive for, is supposed to help quickly build muscle mass and give the user a “feel-good effect.”) Sly said Howard told him the substance helped with his “explosiveness,” but later said he was lying.

Howard released a statement:

The accusations from Al Jazeera came out of nowhere, and I was shocked and outraged by their false claims. I welcomed the investigation by Major League Baseball as an opportunity to clear my name. I was fully cooperative and transparent in the process, and MLB’s findings validate what I have said publicly. I am glad this part of the process has concluded, and I look forward to holding the responsible people accountable for these false and defamatory claims in my ongoing litigation against Al Jazeera and its reporters.

Howard sued Al Jazeera in January.

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