Jan 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis addresses the press during a press conference in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Alum Update: Ray Lewis and Deer-Antler Extracts?

Ravens’ LB Ray Lewis finds himself in the middle of yet another controversy.  This time…deer-antler extracts containing the substance IGF-1.

The 37-year old Lewis, who will play in the Super Bowl this Sunday against San Francisco, is said to have used a variety of products — all containing stemming from deer-antler extract — in order to speed the healing of his torn triceps, according to Sports Illustrated.

In their latest discovery, Sports Illustrated alleges that Lewis was introduced to a company called Sports With Alternatives to Steroids (S.W.A.T.S.) in which the owner of the company, Mitch Ross, gave Lewis a number of products that contained a mixture of deer-antler extract in both spray, sticker, powder and pill form.

So what is the big deal with dear-antler extract?

The extract contains IGF-1, a performance enhancing substance that is prohibited by the National Football League.  According to Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh, Lewis has passed every drug test that he has taken throughout his career.

In an interview with ESPN, Lewis admitted that he was “agitated” at the recent allegations:

I’m never angry.  I’m too blessed to be stressed.  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 the other.  The word agitated is probably better.”

Collegenews.com says that Lewis has used products from S.W.A.T.S. in the past, but that his only tie to the company is through past coach Hue Jackson.  “Jackson was advised by the NFL to cut all ties with S.W.A.T.S. due to their marketing of products containing  the NFL-banned substance IGF-1.”

The Sports Illustrated report alleges that Lewis had in fact contacted S.W.A.T.S. owner Mitch Ross just hours after tearing his triceps on Oct. 14. against the Dallas Cowboys.  Ross reportedly prescribed Lewis a “deluxe program” including pills, stickers to be placed on his elbow, as well as powder and sprays, all containing IGF-1.

Baltimore continues to stand behind their star linebacker and dismisses the use of Lewis using deer-antler extracts in any form to speed up his rehabilitation.

Said Lewis:

It’s so funny of a story, because I never, ever took what he says or whatever I was supposed to do.  And it’s just sad, once again, 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.”

Ross believes that the NFL is uneducated when it comes to IGF-1 and that the substance is not a steroid.

For further reading on deer-antler extracts and how they work, click here.

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