|(Super Bowl) Ravens’ Lewis rejects banned substance story
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis dismissed a Sports Illustrated report yesterday linking him to a product that includes a substance banned by the National Football League.
The report on the magazine's website comes just days before the Ravens meet the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl championship game at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, AFP reports.
Sports Illustrated's lengthy story about Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS) said Lewis spoke to SWATS owner Mitch Ross last October about products that might hasten his recovery from a torn right triceps.
Among SWATS' products is a deer-antler spray containing small amounts of IGF-1, an insulin-like anabolic growth hormone that stimulates muscle growth and is banned by professional sports leagues.
Nothing in the story links Lewis to actually using a product with a banned substance, only that he requested items that might have contained a banned substance ahead of his emotional return to the field, one that helped inspire the Ravens to the American Conference playoff crown.
A Ravens team official told ESPN that Lewis said he never took any banned substance.
The spokesman said Lewis has never failed a drug test and Lewis made reference to the same point at Super Bowl media day yesterday.
“Every test I have ever took in the NFL, there has never been a question of me taking anything,'' Lewis said.
Lewis said that he had no help in rehabilitating from his injury and dismissed links to SWATS as old news. “That was two years ago. It was the same report.’’
Ravens coach John Harbaugh also came to the defense of Lewis, saying he has a good track record. “Ray has passed every substance test in his career.’’