Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (52) during the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Patriots 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Ray Lewis May Have Used Banned Substance to Recover From Torn Triceps


Jan 28, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis during a Super Bowl XLVII press conference at the Hilton Riverside Hotel. Super Bowl XLVII will be played between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has made a miraculous recovery from a torn triceps this season and has been able to continue playing through the season, despite the painful injury. Lewis found a way to get healthy enough for the postseason run in what will be his final NFL season, but there are some interesting details about how he may have accomplished the amazing feat.

Per Sports Illustrated, Lewis may have used a banned substance to recover from the injury.

Lewis used hologram stickers and a deer antler spray during his recovery. The antler spray is an interesting discovery, because it has traits similar to human growth hormone and contains IGF-1, which is on the NFL’s list of banned substances.

The Ravens linebacker received the treatment from an alternative science company named Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (S.W.A.T.S.). Here is how one of the S.W.A.T.S. employees, Christopher Key, explained the deer antler extract.

“You’re familiar with HGH, correct?” asked Key. “It’s converted in the liver to IGF-1. IGF-1, or -insulin-like growth factor, is a natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth. We have deer that we harvest out of New Zealand. Their antlers are the fastest-growing substance on planet Earth . . . because of the high concentration of IGF-1. We’ve been able to freeze dry that out, extract it, put it in a sublingual spray that you shake for 20 seconds and then spray three [times] under your tongue. . . . This stuff has been around for almost 1,000 years, this is stuff from the Chinese.”

The complete story is fascinating. Lewis was in a hurry to get back on the field knowing this was his last season and he was prepared to go to any lengths necessary– including spraying deer antler extract under his tongue.

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Here is an excerpt from the Sports Illustrated article that shows an exchange between Lewis and the guys at S.W.A.T. The excerpt is a bit lengthy, but interesting to say the least:

Hours after he tore his triceps during an Oct. 14 home game against the Cowboys, Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis and Ross connected on the phone. Again, Ross videotaped the call.

“It’s bottom, near the elbow,” Lewis said of the tear. After asking a few pseudo diagnostic questions, Ross concluded, “All right, well this is going to be simple. . . . How many pain chips you got around the house?”

“I got plenty of them,” Lewis replied.

Ross prescribed a deluxe program, including holographic stickers on the right elbow; copious quantities of the powder additive; sleeping in front of a beam-ray light programmed with frequencies for tissue regeneration and pain relief; drinking negatively charged water; a 10-per-day regimen of the deer-antler pills that will “rebuild your brain via your small intestines” (and which Lewis said he hadn’t been taking, then swallowed four during the conversation); and spritzes of deer-antler velvet extract (the Ultimate Spray) every two hours.

“Spray on my elbow every two hours?” Lewis asked.

“No,” Ross said, “under your tongue.”

Toward the end of the talk, Lewis asked Ross to “just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week.”

Ross says he provided the products free of charge. He even trotted out a novel S.W.A.T.S. technology for the star client: undergarments — black with Lewis’s name and number in -purple — drenched in pungent menthol liquid that Key and Ross exposed to radio waves. All Ross wanted in return, he told Lewis, is for the future Hall of Famer to tell the truth — that he used S.W.A.T.S. products — when he returned to the field.

Lewis had not talked to media for 10 weeks while he rehabbed his injury. Asked by SI if he had worked with Key and Ross during his recovery, he initially demurred. “I didn’t work with them personally this time,” he said.

When pressed, Lewis said, “Nobody helped me out with the rehab. I’ve been doing S.W.A.T.S. for a couple years through Hue Jackson, that’s it. That’s my only connection to them.”

Asked if he had talked to Ross the night of his injury, Lewis replied, “I told him to send me some more of the regular stuff, the S.W.A.T.S., the stickers or whatever.”

And did they help?

“I think a lot of things helped me.”

So would he suggest S.W.A.T.S. to other players?

“If I did, I would’ve done said it by now,” Lewis said. Asked specifically about the spray and the pills, Lewis walked away without comment.

Lewis will have a lot of questions to answer, but it is unlikely that anything will happen. The league would have to ramp up an investigation and issue a suspension for using a banned substance if Lewis admitted to taking the supplement. Lewis could then appeal any punishment and he would be able to get back on the field for his final game in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Anything that would happen after Sunday would not affect Lewis on the field, because he will no longer be playing.

It’s unfortunate that this story didn’t come to light earlier in the season when something could be done about Lewis using a banned substance. Now, this will just become a part of Ray Lewis’ legacy that already includes a few black marks.

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis Super Bowl

  • Keeping_It_Heel

    The NFL needs to get on this NOW and find out if he did and IF it was indeed a banned substance he needs to be suspended for the Super Bowl.