News Column

Oh Deer, Ravens' Ray Lewis Denies Using Banned Stag Extract

Jan 30, 2013

Tom Mahon

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was probably prepared to talk about of lot of things at Tuesday's Super Bowl Media Day.

But, deer-antler spray probably wasn't one of them.

Lewis was asked about a Sports Illustrated report that claimed a company supplied him with deer-antler velvet extract, which contains IGF-1, a performance-enhancing substance banned by the NFL.

Mitch Ross, owner of Sports with Alternative to Steroids (SWATS), told SI that Lewis wanted the product to help speed his recovery from a torn right triceps he suffered in October. Ross said he told Lewis to spray the extract under the tongue every 2 hours.

On Tuesday, Lewis denied ever doing so.

"Nah, never," Lewis said.

Ross, however, says otherwise.

He told ESPN radio's Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo, that Lewis, "used every product that I have."

Ross said deer antler shouldn't be banned by the NFL because it is a natural substance and therefore, a "God-given product."

"Ray did what he had to do to get back on the field, that's what he said," Ross said Tuesday. "I'm not telling you he didn't use anything. He got on a protocol, he absolutely certainly did . . . It was set up by me how to do it . . . It sounds like he's disputing it, I guess because he's scared of [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell. Ray's not the only athlete taking in the SWATS protocol."

As a matter of full disclosure, it should be noted that Ross -- according to the SI story -- is a former stripper with a degree in science who has admitted to peddling steroids in the past.

That said, we'll give Lewis the last word.

"I've been in this business 17 years and nobody has ever got up with me every morning and trained with me," he said Tuesday. "Every test I've ever took in the NFL, there's never been a question if I've ever even thought about using anything, so to even entertain stupidity like that . . . tell [them] to go try to get [their] story off somebody else."


Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2013 the Philadelphia Daily News

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