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Ryan Howard denies link to doping ring

The Phillies' veteran first baseman, as well as many other athletes, is not having any of this recent report.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Howard has long passed his most effective, or even simply effective, years, and this makes his recent linkage to a doping ring centered in Indianapolis all the more perplexing.

The information comes from former clinic staffer and current Austin, Texas-based pharmacist named Charlie Sly. He was busted during an undercover sting operation performed by former British hurdler Liam Collins, who approached various professionals with links to human growth hormones pretending to be a potential customer and recorded the interactions.

In an undercover Al Jazeera news report called "The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers" that was somehow not lifted from an unpublished Hardy Boys novella, Howard will be named in a recorded conversation with stars such as Peyton Manning, Mike Tyson, Ryan Zimmerman, Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews, and James Harrison.

As a young man, Howard proudly denied any sort of doping, and once again refuted the use of any banned substance in the wake of this story. Manning also vehemently denied the charges, as did Zimmerman, and Sly himself would go on to call his own report "false and incorrect."

This is sort of important, since Sly is pretty much the only reason anyone is talking about any of this.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that Sly is also saying that he made everything up in an attempt to test Collins' legitimacy as a client. So.