Nearly six months ago, an Al Jazeera report linked six NFL players, including the now-retired Peyton Manning, to human growth hormone or performance-enhancing drugs. In the aftermath of that report, which Manning ripped for being "garbage," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the league would launch an investigation into the accusations.
So, what ever happened to that investigation?
And for that, the NFL is blaming the NFLPA.
"We have pushed to do them sooner," NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told MMQB. "[The union has] articulated some reasons why they can't be done right away."
Without knowing what those reasons were, it's tough to draw any conclusions. And if you're wondering why the NFL is setting up the interviews through the NFLPA, it's because they're required to (except in Manning's case, as he's retired). Kaplan noted that it's unknown if the NFL reached out to Manning.
As Kaplan went on to point out in her article, the automatic assumption is that the accused players -- James Harrison, Clay Matthews, Mike Neal and Julius Peppers -- don't want the investigation to proceed. But that might not be the case -- at least not for Neal, who recently told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he thinks the Al Jazeera report "influenced" his free agency process. Neal, Kaplan wrote, wants the investigation to proceed.
Lockhart told MMQB that the league prefers to interview the players before training camp, but they will "do them during training camp" if necessary.
So, to be clear, this entire situation is lacking clarity -- like it always has. We don't know why the NFLPA is allegedly delaying these interviews. We don't even know if the NFLPA would agree with the NFL's assessment of the situation, because the NFLPA didn't respond to Kaplan's comment request.
This entire scandal, when it broke, was confusing. Six months later, it doesn't appear to be getting any less confusing.
Wink of the CBS eye to Emily Kaplan and MMQB