With reports swirling during Super Bowl week that retiring Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis had been linked to using deer antler spray, the use of hormone-based substances has dominated the non-football NFL discusssion. On Wednesday, one former Dallas Cowboys player admitted that the use of seemingly odd remedies is nothing new to the league, only the outcry surrounding it is the latest development.
Formey Cowboys defensive tackle Tony Casillas said that he and his teammates in the early 1990s used a substance intended for horses that aided recovery time. He told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that it didn't receive a second look from anyone, according to NFL.com:
"When I heard about deer antler spray, when I heard that, I said, 'That's nothing.' We used to use this stuff called DMSO. That's what veterinarians put on horses, on a muscle," Casillas said. "It's an ointment that's like anti-inflammatory. ... If you're going to talk about the deer antler stuff, we used DMSO and people knew it. Everyone knew about it."
Those Cowboys teams certainly enjoyed success, as Casillas was part of a group that won back-to-back Super Bowls over the Buffalo Bills. Now, if everyone around the league was using the horse ointment, as Casillas implies, then it's not some sort of indictment on those dominant teams.
Athletes have now been linked to using ground-up deer antlers in spray form and an ointment intended for use on horses in the past month. Who knows what sort of animal-related substance will surface next?