Deer-antler spray source of new NFL drug controversyon January 30, 2013 @ 9:38 am (Updated: 9:41 am - 1/30/13 )
bombshell story about a deer-antler spray that may have helped one team make it to this year's Super Bowl.
There's this guy, actually two guys, who run a company called S.W.A.T.S, which stands for Sports With Alternatives to Steroids. In fact, they're the only two guys in this company, and one's a former male stripper and a former steroids dealer, but they have this "amazing" product they're hawking - an extract from the antlers of New Zealand deer. These antlers, they say, are the fastest growing substance on Earth, because of their high concentration of IGF-1, a natural anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth.
And what these guys have managed to do is freeze-dry the IGF-1 out of the antlers, and put it into spray form. All you have to do is shake it for 20 seconds and then spray it three times under your tongue. You do this for enough days, and any injury you might have practically heals itself on superdrive.
Oh, and by the way, the substance is banned by the NCAA and every major pro league around.
So why are we talking about these snake-oil salesmen? Because these two guys say Ray Lewis, the star of the Super Bowl-bound Baltimore Ravens, took this stuff. This is all laid out in a long investigative report from Sports Illustrated.
This is important because Ray Lewis suffered a serious triceps injury midway through the season and he surprised many experts by recovering in time to play during the Ravens' impressive run through the playoffs, and now into the Super Bowl.
At Media Day Tuesday, Lewis naturally, was asked about these claims from S.W.A.T.'s owner Mitch Ross.
"I wouldn't give him the credit to even mention his name or his antics in my speeches or my moment. I can't do it. So I won't even speak about it because I've been in this business 17 years and nobody has ever got up with me every morning and trained with me. Every test I've ever took in the NFL - there's never been a question if I've ever even thought about using anything. So to even entertain stupidity like that, tell him to try to go get his story of somebody else," said Lewis.
A forceful denial but you can't help thinking of Lance Armstrong, can you? And Ross reportedly videotaped a phone call from Lewis requesting the deer extract.
But Lewis is set to retire immediately after the Super Bowl so whether the NFL will bother to investigate him is seen as unlikely.
As for how this might impact the Super Bowl game, ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth says the controversy might even work in the Ravens favor.
"It may continue to galvanize this team," says Schlereth. "We've seen this team come together in an incredible way since the opening of the playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts. They've defied the odds. They've played great football and they've been very emotionally and attached together as kind of one."
By the way, the Ravens are 3-and-a-half point underdogs.
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