Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is no stranger to controversy, and it seems this week before Sunday’s Super Bowl will not be an exception. Lewis denied today, Wednesday, that he used deer antler spray which contains a banned performance enhancer (IGF-1).
Sports Illustrated reported on Tuesday that Ray Lewis received assistance from Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS). The company makes deer-antler spray which they indicate can be sprayed under the tongue and was used by Lewis to accelerate his recovery from torn right triceps this season. Initially injury reports had projected Lewis to miss the remainder of the season, but he returned to the field after 10 games.
Ray Lewis told coach John Harbaugh there was nothing to the allegations. “He laughed about it,“ said Harbaugh. “He’s told us in the past and now that he has never taken any of it.”
With the Baltimore Ravens organization behind Ray Lewis, they urged him to speak up and issue a strong denial publicly regarding the accusations as he had done with the team. Lewis had neglected to address the charges at media day.
Today Ray Lewis chose to go ahead and respond saying, “I’ve never, ever took what he says I was supposed to do. It’s just sad that someone can have this much attention on a stage this big where the dreams are really real. I don’t need it, my teammates don’t need it, the 49ers don’t need it.”
The NFL has indicated that IGF-1 is not detectable with the leagues current testing methods. However Dr. Roberto Salvatori, a professor at Johns Hopkins University told the Baltimore Sun that there isn’t even an acceptable scientific way that IGF-1 could be delivered orally.
According to Ray Lewis, the co-owner of SWAT, Mitch Ross, responsible for issuing these claims has been “sued four or five times over this same BS,” and “doesn’t have the privilege for me to speak about it ever again.” Case closed, it appears.