What good would Baltimore Ravens Media Day be without a juicy story about their star linebacker Ray Lewis? Today, amidst all the hype about his retirement and “last dance”, came the Sports Illustrated story that Lewis used performance enhancing drugs as part of his recovery from a torn triceps injury. According the SI article, Lewis used deer antler spray containing IGF-1, a substance banned by the National Football League (NFL).
The story said that a phone conversation allegedly took place between S.W.A.T. (Sports with Alternatives to Steroids) owner Mitch Ross and Lewis. Ross said that Lewis asked him to prescribe treatments to help him recover from his triceps injury.
During his Q&A, Lewis dismissed the allegations and shrugged off Ross:
“Two years ago that was the same report,” Lewis said during Tuesday’s media day. “I wouldn’t give that report or him any of my press. He’s not worthy of that. Next question.”
Ravens Vice President of Communications Kevin Byrne told ESPN that the team is standing behind Lewis:
“He denied using the substance discussed in the article, and we believe him,” Bryne said. “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.”
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport said that the League is not commenting on the situation, adding that it was no surprise to anyone that the story came out on Media Day.
I am chalking this up to a bunch of bunk. Ross has tried to mess with Lewis before, it didn’t work then and it won’t work now. After 17 seasons in the NFL, Lewis knows how to handle the media and he did an excellent job of answering their questions about this story, then moving on.
Lewis has never failed a drug test and he would never be stupid enough to do anything that would jeopardize his future Hall of Fame career.
Now let’s move on from this and focus on more important things like the Ravens returning to the practice field on Wednesday…