During media day, it was expected that a lot of crazy questions would be asked, some of which would be directed at Ray Lewis.
It was expected that a lot of the questions would focus on the double murder in Atlanta 13 years ago, but instead, it was another topic that could cause a major distraction leading up to the Super Bowl.
Lewis was asked about a Sports Illustrated report that claimed the linebacker used a deer antler extract spray that contained a banned substance to try and return quicker from his torn triceps injury.
Lewis’ alleged use of deer antler spray was actually brought up about two years ago, but the story never really went anywhere and it eventually disappeared. Lewis and the Ravens are probably hoping for a similar result this time around.
The linebacker told the media that he did not use any banned substance and that he has never done so at any point in his career. He pointed out that he has never failed a drug test and claims he has never even considered trying to use any type of performance-enhancing drug.
He believes that the company, S.W.A.T.S., that sent him products is simply trying to make a name for themselves and he didn’t want to give them the attention and publicity that they were seeking.
It’s hard to know who is telling the truth in this situation, but Lewis has never failed a drug test and his body has never noticeably changed. It’s also odd timing for this report to come out considering Lewis allegedly asked for the deer antler spray immediately after tearing his triceps, which occurred more than three months ago. It appears that the company was waiting for the most opportune time to gain the largest amount of media exposure possible to shine a spotlight on their products.
If Lewis did use a banned substance, there is little the NFL can do at this point unless he came out and admitted it. Without a positive drug test and with the amount of time it would take to launch an investigation, there is no way a suspension would be handed down before the Super Bowl, after which he will retire.
It’s a shame that Lewis has to deal with these allegations during the week leading up to his final game, a moment he has been dreaming about since winning the Super Bowl back in 2000. It’s also a shame for the rest of the team to have to deal with this distraction leading up to the biggest game of the players’ lives.
The Ravens dealt with the distraction of the murder case before the Super Bowl in 2000, but that was a different team with different personalities. There’s no telling how the players on this team might react and deal with such a distraction, thought it remains to be seen how big this story will grow.
With media day all wrapped up and no concrete evidence that Lewis used PED’s, it’s quite possible that this story will just disappear as the clock ticks down toward the kickoff of the Super Bowl.