Thanks a lot Sports Illustrated.
The story that won’t-go-away came back to life in New Orleans on Tuesday when THIS PIECE by SI.com linked Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to a company called S.W.A.T.S. that says Lewis contacted one of the company’s owners late in 2012 and inquired about using deer-antler spray to help treat his torn triceps muscle.
The only problem? Deer-antler spray contains a component (IGF-1) that is on the NFL’s banned substance list.
Yes, all hell has officially broken loose here in the Big Easy.
In fairness, the article on SI.com is extensive and has, apparently, lots of potentially damaging evidence against Lewis. None of it should be mistaken for fact, yet, and that’s important to remember as you read the story and make your own assessment on what you think happened when Lewis suffered his injury back on October 14. But this much is certain: While SI.com doesn’t have a photo or any sort of irrefutable evidence to directly link Lewis to using the spray containing the banned substance, lots of details in the story don’t paint a favorable picture of No. 52.
This would also be the appropriate time to admit something. My guess is some of you reading this have probably faced the same pink elephant in the room since Ray returned from his triceps injury in record time. I’ll admit this: nearly every media member I know at least giggled or raised an eyebrow or said under his breath – “gee, Ray, you sure did come back quickly from that “season-ending” injury…” That is, of course, the story no one in Baltimore really wants to discuss, but it has to at least be put on the table when this deer-antler story (re) surfaces again. Ray made a very quick recovery from an injury that typically has a recovery time of 6-9 months.
Now – let’s get back to FACTS: Has he failed a drug test? Ray and the Ravens will both remind you, emphatically, the answer to that question is “no”.
To some, that will simply be enough to give Lewis the proverbial free pass. In Baltimore, especially, most folks will either ignore the story or pass it off as a witch-hunt to unnerve the future Hall of Famer as he approaches his final game in New Orleans on Sunday.
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