Ray Lewis Denies Sports Illustrated Report of PED Use, “Deer Antler Spray”

Ray Lewis Super Bowl Media Day PED use

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis took to the podium Tuesday in New Orleans expecting to field an array of questions about his legacy, about the game, and about the impact of his retirement on the team and the game.  But instead of receiving a shower of love, admiration, and affection; he was forced to answer questions about “deer antler spray” and PED use.

ESPN:  Ray Lewis was given a product to help heal his torn triceps that contains a banned substance, according to a Sports Illustrated report that will appear on newsstands Monday. The Baltimore Ravens linebacker has not tested positive and denies using it, a team official told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio.

Mitch Ross, a co-owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS), told Sports Illustrated that he spoke to Lewis shortly after the linebacker tore his triceps on Oct. 14 and he requested products that could help speed up his recovery. Deer-antler spray was among the prescribed treatments. Deer-antler spray contains a substance (IGF-1) on the NFL’s banned list.

SWATS is the subject of an in-depth profile in Sports Illustrated’s next issue. A version of the story was also posted on SI.com.

Lewis dismissed the report when he was asked about it at Super Bowl media day in New Orleans on Tuesday.

“Two years ago, it was the same report. I wouldn’t give that report or him any of my press. He’s not worthy of that. Next question,” Lewis said.

I rarely comment on stories like this.  I passed on the Armstrong nonsense – mostly because I’ve all but given up hope that any athlete in the current sports culture is 100% clean and clear of doping, cheating, etc.  But I share this one only because Ray Lewis touches a nerve with me that most are incapable of reaching.  His Take: He’s a self-described devout Christian, a man of god, and a “leader” in every sense of the word.  My Take: He skirted a murder case a decade ago only by flipping on two of his friends and pleading guilty to an obstruction of justice charge.  The victim’s family hasn’t forgiven him and probably never will. I’m sorry if my list conflicts with the accolades he bestows upon himself.

The media seems blindly in love with the guy; perhaps, because of his pregame antics.  Maybe it’s just the never ending stream of headlines he produces.  And who doesn’t love a comeback story?  Or for that matter, a swansong?

I’ll tell you who.  

This guy.

First off, did you hear him when he said he wasn’t going to let this guy and his antics ruin “his” moment?  His moment?  I thought football was a team sport, no?  I thought this guy was a great leader of men?  It’s his moment?  I didn’t realize the Super Bowl was a contest between the 49ers and… the Ray Lewis’s.

Beyond that, my admiration for Ray Lewis in pretty much on par with every other loser / criminal that manages to beat the system by happenstance.  He happened to have a load of cash and his friends just happened to do the time.  Everything that he’s accomplished since that day only speaks to the injustice of the situation.

Is he innocent in the eye of the law?  Absolutely.  At least of murder.  But he was guilty of obstruction of justice for helping throw off police conducting a murder investigation.  That hardly makes him innocent, at least in the common sense of the word.

Did he use “deer antler spray” or other PED’s?  He never tested positive.  I guess using the Lance Armstrong standard, that makes him both squeaky clean and innocent.  You tell me what that really means, anymore?


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