The Green Bay Packers and their fans can finally exhale. After months of jockeying between the NFL and the NFL Player’s Association in light of last year’s Al-Jazeera America report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs, the league’s investigation is finally over.
As we all expected, the league has reportedly found no reason to suspend two current Packers players named in the report, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, and the two are officially clear of any wrongdoing. The NFL announced this in a press release on Wednesday afternoon:
Here is the full release from the @NFL on clearing the players in the HGH Al-Jazeera America situation pic.twitter.com/QNQ3B40DLH— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2016
Of course, the fact that the league used such heavy-handed tactics to compel the players to interview in the first place became the bigger story in recent weeks than the actual topic of the investigation. Still, it is a significant positive for Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers - and for the Packers - that this strange situation has finally drawn to a close without any disciplinary action being taken.
The two Packers met with the league seven days ago on August 24th at the Packers’ team facilities after the NFL issued a statement that they could be suspended for conduct detrimental to the league if they failed to do so by the 25th of the month.
It appears that former Packer Mike Neal’s situation remains in limbo, as the free agent was not named in this statement.