The Super Bowl is supposed to be Ray Lewis’ triumphant last hurrah, but the Baltimore Ravens linebacker is currently shrouded in controversy after a Sports Illustrated report came out implying that the 17-year veteran used banned substances this season to recover from a torn triceps.
Journalists asked Lewis about these allegations during Tuesday’s Super Bowl XLVII Media Day, and the superstar LB was quick to refute them, stating: "Two years ago, that was the same report. It's not worthy of the press." Baltimore officials and coaches confirmed No. 52 has never failed a substance abuse test.
Lewis stood firm on his stance against the PED report, as the Ravens official Twitter feed announced that the future Hall of Famer denied the allegations again on Wednesday.
Ray Lewis on PED report: "I never, ever took what he says... The guy has no credibility."— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 30, 2013
In fact, the hardened vet admitted that these accusations are embarrassing to deal with at this stage of his career, especially prior to what is arguably the biggest game of his life.
Ray Lewis says the reports are "one of the most embarrassing things" to have on this stage.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 30, 2013
According to the long and strange tale—first told by SI’s David Epstein and George Dohrmann—Lewis allegedly used deer-antler extract in pill and spray form to recover faster.
This is a problem since IGF-1 (the key component in the remedy) is a banned substance in the NFL and many other professional sports leagues.
Fortunately for Lewis, he will be retiring following Sunday’s Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers, but it's obvious that he does not want his name tarnished by this scandal.
He’s working on damage control, and it's likely that the league office will launch a full-scale investigation into S.W.A.T.S. (the company that apparently provided Lewis with the spray) and what actually occurred between the two parties.
Unless Lewis flat-out admits that he was using the product between now and Feb. 3, expect the star LB to be on the field in the Superdome, playing in the last game of his career on the biggest stage.
As the old adage goes, Lewis is innocent until proven guilty, and he should be treated that way until the facts come out.