Ray Lewis is embroiled in a PED controversy regarding deer antler spray. The Baltimore Ravens linebacker denies using any banned substance and said that he was "agitated" with Sports Illustrated allegations.
"I'm never angry. I'm too blessed to be stressed," the Baltimore Ravens linebacker said when told that he seemed angry. "You can use a different word. You can use the word agitated because I'm here to win the Super Bowl. I'm not here to entertain somebody that doesn't affect that one way or another. The word agitated is probably better."
On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated reported that Lewis reached out to Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS) owner Mitch Ross to obtain deer-antler velvet extract, which contains IGF-1, which is on the NFL's list of banned substances. Using the spray would be a violation of the NFL's steroids policy. The deer-antler spray is supposed to be sprayed under the tongue and could have helped Lewis speed his recovery from a torn right triceps. Lewis missed 10 games with the injury.
Lewis refuted the notion and did not give specific comments on the story on Tuesday.
"Two years ago, that was the same report," he said. "It's not worthy of the press."
When asked directly whether he had used the spray during his recovery this season, Lewis said, "Nah, never."
Lewis continued to hammer home those claims on Wednesday.
"Our world is a very secret society. We try to protect our world as much as we can. When you let cowards come in and do things like that, to try to disturb something. I've said it before and I've said a million times, the reason why I'm smiling is because it's so funny of a story."
"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. Nobody needs it because it just really shows you that people really plan things and try to attack people from the outside. It's just very foolish. The guy has no credibility. He's been sued four or five times over this same BS. I just truly believe he doesn't have the privilege for me to speak about it ever again," he continued.
According to ESPN.com, Ravens team president Dick Cass told ESPN that the Ravens' top brass met with Lewis last night and urged him to issue a strong denial on Wednesday, to repeat what he told the organization on Tuesday: that he never used any of the substances he was accused of using in the SI report.
"We wanted him to issue a strong denial at media day, he didn't do that. He was very strong with us yesterday, and last night. We met with him last night and talked about issuing a strong denial today," Cass told ESPN.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that he spoke with Lewis and the linebacker "knows there is nothing to it. He understands it's something he's never been involved in."
"He laughed about it," Harbaugh said, referring to Lewis. "He told me there's nothing to it. He's told us in the past and now that he has never taken any of it."
Lewis said he would not allow the story to distract or overwhelm the Ravens as they prepare for the Super Bowl.
"I've been in this game for 17-plus good years, and I have a heck of relationship and too much respect for the business and my body to ever violate like that. For me and my teammates, I promise you that we have a strong group of men that don't bend too much and we keep pushing forward. So, it's not a distraction for us," he said.
The company has also been tied to the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.
According to a Sports Illustrated report that came out on Tuesday, Alabama players received the same types of banned substances produced by Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (S.W.A.T.S.) that Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis reportedly did, including deer antler spray. The report says that several Alabama football players received S.W.A.T.S. products prior to the Crimson Tide's January 2012 win over LSU in the BCS national title game.
According to ESPN.com, SWATS co-owner Mitch Ross detailed his interaction with Lewis in an interview Tuesday with ESPN Radio's "SVP and Russillo Show," saying he texted Lewis shortly after the linebacker was injured against the Cowboys on Oct. 14.
He told ESPN Radio that Lewis "used every product that I had."
"I even developed an armband that I developed to strengthen his triceps, and some liquid wraps that would help him heal as well," he said.
When asked why Lewis is denying using his products, Ross told ESPN Radio: "I guess [Lewis] is scared of Roger Goodell."