Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis called the recent allegations that he took a banned substance to help him recover from a serious injury “the work of the devil.”
A recent Sports Illustrated article said that Mitch Ross, owner of a business called Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (SWATS), recorded a call he received from Lewis hours after the player tore his right triceps in a game in October. Ross said Lewis asked for a shipment of deer-antler spray and pills, which contain the banned substance IGF-1, and that Lewis took some of those pills he already had on hand while they were talking.
Lewis, who has since returned to the field and helped the Ravens advance to Sunday’s Super Bowl, answered questions about the accusations at a news conference Wednesday, video above. And he did so with a seemingly genuine smile on his face.
“The reason why I’m smiling is because it’s so funny of a story because I never, ever took what he says or whatever I was supposed to do,” Lewis said. “And it’s just sad once again that someone can have this much attention on a stage this big, where the dreams are really real. I don’t need it. My teammates don’t need it. The 49ers don’t need it. Nobody needs it.”
He added: “I’ve been in this game 17 years, 17 good years. And I had a heck of a relationship and too much respect for the business and my body to ever violate [them] like that.”
The outspokenly religious Lewis said he’s told his teammates: “Don’t let people from the outside ever come and try to disturb what’s inside.”
“For me and my teammates, I promise you, we have a strong group of men that we don’t bend too much and we keep pushing forward,” he said. “So it’s not a distraction at all for us.”