It's not like he would go ahead and admit this.

Ray Lewis tore his triceps back in an October game against the Dallas Cowboys. The injury was supposed to be season ending, but the future Hall of Famer refused to be placed on the season ending Injured Reserve. It was a curious decision, but one that wasn't questioned much.

When Lewis actually came back for the playoffs, it was somewhat of a "miraculous" return.

When asked about the Sports Illustrated report that claims that he used a banned substance to recover from his torn triceps injury, Lewis refused to comply.


Lewis dismissed the report during Tuesday’s Media Day session, quipping, “next question,” when asked about the SI story. Later, when asked again about the SI report, he said: “To even entertain stupidity like that, tell them to get a story off somebody else.”

Even someone as formidable as Ray Lewis might be in over his head on this one. That SI report has a recorded conversation with Lewis where he asks for instructions on how to use the substance, and says "“just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week.”

The substance in question is a deer-antler velvet extract. This contains IGF-1 which is apparently on the NFL's list of banned substances. The "IGF" stands for "Insulin-like Growth Factor". Wikipedia explains it as:

IGF-1 is a hormone similar in molecular structure to insulin. It plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have anabolic effects in adults. A synthetic analog of IGF-1, mecasermin is used for the treatment of growth failure.

Obviously, with Ray Lewis announcing his retirement after this season, any punishment the NFL can hand out won't really matter. Still, for all of the Ravens players and fans who have constantly taunted teams like the Patriots as "cheaters", they may be forced to begrudgingly eat their words.

This also opens up a bigger issue. Several NFL players were suspended this year for using performance enhancing drugs. Most claimed it was Adderal. Three Patriots players were suspended, though one (Aqib Talib) was suspended while on a different team. Every "miraculous" recovery might be looked at with a hint of skepticism now, though it is obviously not an epidemic comparable to baseball's at this point.

Michael Saver 1/29/2013 02:43:00 PM Edit

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