Ravens' Ray Lewis won't speak to report he used banned spray
Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis speaks to journalists during Media Day for the NFL's Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Louisiana January 29, 2013. (REUTERS)
Who knew there was even something called deer antler velvet spray to aid in healing?
Not many people, probably, before this week.
But in a feature released online on Tuesday, Sports Illustrated reported that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis used the product to help him recover faster from the torn right tricep he suffered in October.
The spray contains the chemical IGF-1, which reportedly is considered a banned substance by the NFL. The spray is akin to human growth hormone, the Baltimore Sun later reported.
Sports Illustrated reported that Lewis used the spray under the direction and guidance of Mitch Ross, a co-owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS).
Asked about the report on Tuesday at Super Bowl XLVII Media Day, Lewis said, "I'm going to say it again. That was a two-year-old story that you want me to refresh. I wouldn't give (Ross) the credit to even mention his name, or his antics in my speeches, or my moment.
"I can't do it so I won't even speak about it."
And that was that.
Ross later told the Baltimore Sun that he supplied a "recovery protocol" to Lewis that included the deer antler velvet spray.
"As soon as I saw him hurt his arm against the Dallas Cowboys, I texted Ray," Ross told the newspaper.
"He texted me back after the game and said, 'Possible torn triceps.' Once that was confirmed by the doctors, I asked Ray if he wanted me to set up a program for him and he said, 'Yes.' I got him set up and now he's back on the field.
"It's a shame that Ray is denying taking it. The NFL is uneducated. This is not a steroid. It's not illegal. Ray is not a cheater. He did it the right way. Ray is a good man."
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh also dismissed the SI allegation, saying, "Ray has passed every substance test in his (17-year) career."
Lewis also was asked about the incident that will forever dog him -- the double-murders in 2000 in which he had some unclear involvement; he later admitted to obstructing justice.
"Honestly, this is not the appropriate time for that," Lewis said of the matter. "You know, because the sympathy that I have for that family, or what me and my family have doing because of all that, nobody here is really qualified to ask those questions.
"I truly feel this is God's time and whatever His time is, let it be His will. Don't try and please everybody with your words and make everybody's story sound right.
"At this time, I'd rather direct my questions in other places, because I live with that every day. You maybe take a break from it. I don't. I live with it every day of my life, and I'd rather not speak about that."