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Jan. 27, 2016 — Might a discredited story actually have legs?

The al-Jazeera documentary was only the latest report to reveal sports doping as a spider’s web that stretches across continents and oceans. You wonder if the pro league chieftains, Rob Manfred in baseball and the N.F.L. sachem Roger Goodell, have paid attention, and have the stomach to pursue these strands. — The New York Times, Jan. 6, 2016

It was just four weeks ago that al-Jazeera America ran a report called The Dark Side, which fingered several professional sports figures for receiving human growth hormone.

It’s a report that has been dismissed by many, including this site, if only because the doping regulations in the athletic areas being discussed — North American professional sports — are much less stringent than those currently found under World Anti-Doping Agency regulations.

Oddly enough, al-Jazeera America has buried its own report; it doesn’t have the hour-long documentary on its on-demand channel, perhaps because the network is cutting costs before it ceases production in April.

But the NFL and Major League Baseball have not dismissed the report at all. It was announced yesterday that both leagues are following up on the allegations in the report, and especially the assertions of Charles Sly, who was recorded on hidden camera naming names of several professional athletes.

Oddly enough, one of the people not named in the original report is being looked at as a possible second avenue of inquiry. The former trainer of retired Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was an associate of Sly, according to this New York Times report, and had a working business relationship — to the point where Sly used the trainer’s home address to apply for a business license in the state of Florida.

As you might expect, their partnership — and their business — has beaten a hasty flight. The company, Elementz Nutrition, closed its doors and dissolved.

But it’s going to be interesting to see how this is pursued, if both MLB and the NFL are involved. Will the FBI get involved in questioning the suspects? If so, it is possible to get one or more of them caught in a lie, which would involve prison time?

This one’s not over yet, not by a longshot.

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