BOSTON (CBS) — Ray Lewis’ final season and Baltimore’s run through the AFC to the Super Bowl has been described as destiny or a fateful miracle, but it appears as though Lewis’ recovery from a torn triceps was aided by the use of a banned substance.
Sports Illustrated reported that among Lewis’ many treatments for his torn triceps, suffered Oct. 14, was a deer-antler spray, which is banned by the NFL. Philly.com published quotes from the SI article from phone conversations between Lewis and Mitch Ross, the owner of “Sports with Alternatives to Steroids” (S.W.A.T.S.).
According to the quotes, Lewis told Ross to “just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week.”
The recovery regimen included 10 deer-antler pills per day and an under-the-tongue deer-antler spray every two hours.
The deer-antler products are described as containing IGF-1, which is banned by the NFL. The report explains that IGF-1 is what human growth hormone is converted into when it reaches the liver.
“We have deer that we harvest out of New Zealand. Their antlers are the fastest-growing substance on planet Earth … because of the high concentration of IGF-1,” a member of S.W.A.T.S. was quoted as telling the Alabama football team. “We’ve been able to freeze dry that out, extract it, put it in a sublingual spray that you shake for 20 seconds and then spray three [times] under your tongue. … This stuff has been around for almost 1,000 years, this is stuff from the Chinese.”
The Baltimore Sun also noted that the article described “undergarments — black with Lewis’s name and number in -purple — drenched in pungent menthol liquid that [Christopher] Key and Ross exposed to radio waves. All Ross wanted in return, he told Lewis, is for the future Hall of Famer to tell the truth — that he used S.W.A.T.S. products — when he returned to the field.”
The article said that Lewis “walked away without comment” after the reporters asked him about the deer-antler spray and pills. Lewis did admit to having some contact with S.W.A.T.S., including the use of their holographic stickers for healing.
Lewis rejoined the Ravens to begin the playoffs, recording 44 tackles in three games. He’s led the Ravens in total tackles in all three games leading up to the Super Bowl. He had 14 tackles in the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots.