In a sworn affidavit sent to the NFL by the NFL Players Association, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison denied allegations made in an Al Jazeera America documentary that he was supplied performance-enhancing drugs.
Harrison, one of four active players the NFL plans to interview as part of its investigation into the PED allegations, stated in the affidavit obtained Tuesday by NFL Media's Mike Garafolo that he never met or had communication with Charles Sly, the intern pharmacist who told Al Jazeera America he supplied Harrison with PEDs.
"As a professional athlete, I have met thousands of people during my career," Harrison wrote in the affidavit, "but to the best of my knowledge and recollection, I have never met with the individual who is apparently named Charles Sly..."
Harrison goes on to state he doesn't know Sly and that he has had no form of communication with him. He also denied ingesting or being supplied the product Sly described as "Delta-2" in Al Jazeera America's documentary, which aired in December.
Sly recanted the statements he told Al Jazeera America when the report was made public. Retired Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, Green Bay Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers and free agent Mike Neal were also named in the report.
Last month, Adolpho Birch, NFL senior vice president of labor policy and government affairs, informed the NFLPA that the league planned to interview Harrison, Matthews and Peppers on the first day of their respective training camps. Neal's interview was scheduled to take place on or before July 22.
In addition, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in June the NFL is planning to interview Manning.
McCarthy said at the time the interview process is one part of the NFL's investigation into the conclusions reached in the Al Jazeera America report.
"The NFLPA and NFL are obligated and have a shared responsibility to look into allegations that could impact the integrity of competition on the field and the health of our players," McCarthy said. "We have been obtaining and reviewing numerous records, conducting multiple interviews and working with other entities. We have made no conclusions but the report merits a review, including interviews with the players named."
In its letter accompanying the affidavit, the NFLPA reiterated its stance that the league "has not indicated its investigation has yielded any such credible evidence" to warrant an interview of Harrison.
The NFLPA also argued a player doesn't need to "agree to an in-person interview based upon random, verbal remarks or face discipline" for failing to cooperate with an investigation under the collective bargaining agreement or league drug policy.
Manning vehemently denied accusations in the report he used human-growth hormone or PEDs during his recovery from neck surgery in 2011.