When Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis tore his triceps last fall and worked his way back onto the field with a remarkably quick recovery, he was given a product that contains a substance banned by the NFL, Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday.
Lewis denied using the spray during his recovery -- which would be a violation of the NFL's steroids policy -- and coach John Harbaugh said the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year never failed a drug test.
Mitch Ross, a co-owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS) said he spoke with Lewis after he was injured Oct. 14 and that Lewis requested products that could speed his recovery time. Among the treatments was deer-antler spray that contains IGF-1, which is a substance banned by the league.
During a podium session packed with news media on Tuesday, Lewis dismissed the story.
"Two years ago, that was the same report," he said. "It's not worthy of the press."
Two years ago, an SI story on SWATS reported that Hue Jackson, then coach of the Oakland Raiders, was told to cut his ties with the company. Ross indicated that he gave Jackson free products that were distributed to players, including Lewis.
Ross, in an interview on the “Scott Van Pelt” show on ESPN, said Lewis “used every product that I had” and that he developed an armband “to strengthen his triceps and some liquid wraps that would help him heal as well.”.
When asked directly whether he had used the spray during his recovery this season, Lewis said, "Nah, never."
The NFL has yet to respond or make a statement.