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Derek Jeter Didn't Take HGH

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NYT – When last seen, Charles Sly starred in a do-it-yourself YouTube confessionin which he insisted that everything he had said to an undercover Al Jazeera reporter about banned substances and professional athletes, including Peyton Manning and Ryan Howard, had been a fabulous lie.

“To be clear,” Sly said, “I am recanting any such statements, and there is no truth to any statement of mine.”

Manning denounced Sly as a liar, as did the quarterback’s spokesman, Ari Fleischer, who accused Al Jazeera of deeply irresponsible journalism.

Yesterday The New York Times did just about the least New York thing you can do and took a shot at Derek Jeter, insinuating that he may have taken PEDs during his career. By this point we have all heard about the Peyton Manning HGH allegations but by doing some digging, NYT figured out that Charles Sly is business partners with a guy who trained Jeter at one point.

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 Sly named are clients of Jason Riley, a fitness trainer based in Sarasota, Fla.

Here is where Sly’s story becomes more intriguing.

Sly is a business partner of Riley’s. When Sly applied for a pharmacist’s license in Florida, he used Riley’s home address.

Riley and Sly founded Elementz Nutrition, a nutritional supplement company whose website and Facebook page feature many of the athletes Sly mentioned on camera. Zimmerman was featured on the website; Howard, Neal and Keller (who is also featured on the website) appeared 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.

Not every athlete cited by Sly in the Al Jazeera report is connected to Elementz, and not all of Elementz’s big-time clients were mentioned by Sly.

Riley’s work as a trainer is so celebrated that he was called “baseball’s M.V.P. of the post-steroids era” by Men’s Fitness magazine.

His most famous client, the man whose career he was credited with reshaping and saving from mortality’s shadow, was Derek Jeter. In 2010, a few years into Riley’s makeover, The Daily News proclaimed: “Derek is turning back the clock at short.” ESPN declared that Riley had “dumped the Captain into a hot tub time machine” and turned him into a 25-year-old.

Significant caveats are in order here: No evidence has emerged linking Jeter to performance-enhancing drugs, and Sly did not connect him to banned substances, although he boasted of helping other athletes obtain them. And a connection to Sly, Riley or anyone else is hardly proof of any wrongdoing.

While all the Yankee haters (Carrabis and KFC) would like to have you believe that this is the beginning of the end for Derek Jeter and that he will soon be exposed as a cheat, this is just a stunt to get pageviews. If you look at the 2010 season when Jeter was “turning back the clock”, you’ll see that Jeter was actually having one of his worst seasons in his career and for the most part, it was the beginning of the end for him. Aside from a 2012 season that was on par with the rest of his career, Jeter was losing a step after 2009, just like an aging player not on PEDs would.

The big story would be if there was anything tying Jeter to drugs, but that link just isn’t there. A guy who admittedly made up a story about other athletes, knows a guy who trained Jeter for a little bit because of his proximity to Jeter’s home in Tampa. When we hear about stars getting caught it’s because they were flying some guy in, or getting shipments from some doctor on the other side of the country, not a trainer who happens to be the best in the shitty Tampa area.

If there was anything real to this story, The New York Times wouldn’t have added a paragraph saying that there was nothing linking Jeter to Sly or to PEDs. By putting that in there NYT protected themselves from a hefty lawsuit while getting pageviews to help keep their dying industry afloat.

PS: He never had sex with Posada either.