A former trainer for Derek Jeter, Jason Riley, is now connected to pharmacist Charlie Sly, who told Al Jazeera about PEDs provided to Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman and the wife of Peyton Manning.
Jason Riley, once celebrated as the trainer who worked with Derek Jeter to improve his defensive range in the last years of the Yankee captainâ€™s storied career, is now receiving scrutiny for his ties to Charlie Sly, the pharmacist at the center of the Al Jazeera doping scandal.
While teammates such as Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez were tied to performance-enhancing drugs during their careers, Jeter famously avoided any hint of scandal during his 20 years with the Yankees – and that raises questions about how Jeter hooked up with the Florida trainer, who founded a dietary supplement company with Sly, the pharmacist who said in the Al Jazeera documentary, â€œThe Dark Side,â€ that he provided PEDs to Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman, and that an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic had shipped human growth hormone to the wife of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Riley has also worked on Manning.
With an aging Jeter becoming a defensive liability at shortstop, Jeter’s agent Casey Close suggested the Yankee star work with Riley before the 2008 season to improve his flexibility and range. Riley has also worked with Howard and Zimmerman and tennis star Maria Sharapova. Yankee general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi signed on to the plan for Riley to train Jeter, with the Yankees agreeing to foot the bill.
â€œLike with every player, you have a strategy about how you attack areas of perceived weakness,â€ Cashman said in a 2010 Daily News report. â€œI talked to (Jeter) specifically about lateral range and improving quickness to the left and right. It was an area of assessment that our manager, coaching staff, scouts, previous regime, all had identified.â€
Sports writers heralded Rileyâ€™s results, just as they applauded the work trainer Brian McNamee had done with steroid-stained Roger Clemens a decade earlier.
Jeter during fielding practice in spring training of 2010.
â€œDerek is turning back the clock at short,â€ the Daily News proclaimed in 2010.
â€œThe results were staggering,â€ a 2010 ESPN report said. â€œSuddenly Derek Jeter had replaced Dick Clark as America’s oldest teenager.â€
Riley, then the director of performance for the Athletes Compound in Tampa, trained Jeter until the Yankee star’s retirement in 2014. Jeter has never been linked to any PED use his entire career in pinstripes.
Peyton Manning returns to the Broncos this week after an Al Jazeera report states his wife received shipments of HGH.
Cashman declined comment Wednesday and Close did not return a message from the Daily News. Riley did not return calls, text messages and an email Wednesday, but the trainer, whose Twitter account is sprinkled with motivational phrases, did post, â€œFocus on the positive! #focus #faith #believe” on his account Wednesday.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Riley founded Elementz Nutrition with Sly.
Sly has since claimed he lied when he told Al Jazeera that an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic, the Guyer Institute, had shipped HGH to Ashley Manning. Sly also used Riley’s home address when he applied for a pharmacist license in Florida, according to the Times report.
Howard and Zimmerman filed separate federal lawsuits against Al Jazeera Tuesday for linking them to performance-enhancing drugs.
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