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NFL plans to talk with players named in PED report next month

Shortly after Al Jazeera America reported in December allegations of performance-enhancing drug use among NFL players, the league announced it would investigate the matter.

An NFL spokesman confirmed to NFL Media on Wednesday it plans to speak to the players tied to the report at some point next month.

"We have been working with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and Major League Baseball since these allegations were raised," NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. "Working with the NFL Players Association, we expect to talk directly to the players sometime next month."

Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and James Harrison were the four active players named in the report.

Retired Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning -- the most prominent of the players named in the Al Jazeera America documentary -- vehemently denied accusations he used human-growth hormone or PEDs during his recovery from neck surgery in 2011.

The report cited a former unpaid Guyer Institute intern pharmacist, Charlie Sly, who allegedly spoke to an undercover reporter working for the network. Sly, who later recanted his statement, said Manning was among several prominent athletes who were supplied illegal PEDs from the Indianapolis-based anti-aging clinic.

"Between being angry, furious, disgusted is how I really feel, sickened," Manning said following the release of the report. "I'm not sure I understand how someone can make something up about somebody. ... And yet somehow it's published in a story."

In January, the NFL announced it had begun a comprehensive review of the allegations, but did not give a timeline as to when it might be completed.

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