Ray Lewis may have used banned substance, according to Sports Illustrated

USA TODAY Sports

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis refused to comment during Super Bowl media day, but this week Sports Illustrated has a report suggesting that the Ravens superstar may have used banned substances in 2012.

Ray Lewis and the rest of the Super Bowl players are in the middle of Media Day Tuesday, but while he answers questions about Sunday's game this afternoon, the rest of this week should bring plenty of questions about his triceps injury a few months ago.

Tuesday he was asked about a report from Sports Illustrated at Super Bowl media day and said, "Two years ago that was the same report. I wouldn't give that report or him any of my press. He's not worthy of that."

So there's his official answer for now. (2:45 UPDATE: He later offered a more firm denial.) Meanwhile, the latest Sports Illustrated (the one with Ray Lewis praying on the cover, naturally) features an in-depth look at S.W.A.T.S., a company run by a former male stripper selling deer antler pills to professional athletes. Including, allegedly, Ray Lewis.

(Aren't sports the best?)

In the middle of Sports Illustrated's piece, the magazine provides this exchange:

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."

Read the rest of the Sports Illustrated story here, or read Yahoo! Sports' expose from a few years ago that Lewis mentioned on the podium in New Orleans today.

In general this is all pretty confusing, but the controversy surrounding S.W.A.T.S. centers on the use of IGF-1, a "natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth" that's banned in the NCAA and every American pro sport. That's what in the "deer-antler velvet extract" and deer antler pills they sell.

But deer antler debates aside, this week the controversy will definitely center on Ray Lewis, who may have ingested those banned substances on his way back from injury earlier this year. He's retiring after this season, and it'd be tough for the NFL to suspend the game's biggest star before his final game Sunday night, but that doesn't mean the controversy will just disappear. Or maybe it will.

We'll wait and see, and in the meantime let's just admire the batshit insanity here:

Ross prescribed a deluxe program [for Lewis], 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.

Holographic stickers.

Deer antler spritzes.

Beam-ray light.

Sports!

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