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.
Lewis was referring to a Jan. 19, 2011, story by Sports Illustrated on SWATS where Hue Jackson, then the Raiders' coach, was told by the NFL to cut ties with the company. Ross told ThePostGame.com in 2011 that he gave Jackson free products that the coach gave to players, including Lewis.
Lewis on Tuesday also said he doesn't want to give the company any publicity and questioned why he should respond to such "stupidity."
"Ray has been randomly tested for banned substances and has never failed a test. We have never been notified of a failed test. He has never been notified of a failed test," Kevin Byrne, vice president of communications for the Ravens, told ESPN.
The Ravens had a meeting with Lewis on Tuesday morning to discuss the article.
"He denied using the substance discussed in the article, and we believe him," Byrne told ESPN.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he has not talked to Lewis about the report.
"Ray has worked incredibly hard to get back. I would hate to see anything diminish that," he said. "My understanding is that he's passed every random substance test that he's taken throughout his career."
According to the NFL Players Association, the NFL tests for the banned substance (IGF-1) that Lewis was linked with in the SI article.
A league source told ESPN that it can be assumed that "Ray has been randomly tested multiple times for that substance."
Ross said Tuesday in an interview with ESPN Radio's "Scott Van Pelt Show" that he texted Lewis shortly after the linebacker was injured against the Cowboys.
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."
Ross told SI he prescribed a program to help Lewis' recovery that included multiple components, including holographic stickers for the elbow, sleeping in front of a beam-ray light, drinking negatively charged water and taking a regiment of deer-antler pills and spraying deer-antler extract under the tongue every two hours.
When asked by SI whether he had talked to Ross, Lewis replied, "I told him to send me some more of the regular stuff, the SWATS, the stickers or whatever." Asked by the magazine whether what he was sent helped, Lewis replied: "I think a lot of things helped me."