In facing a nearly certain lost season after suffering a triceps tear in October, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is said to have contacted S.W.A.T.S. (Sports With Alternatives To Steroids)—a two-man company owned by a former male stripper and gym owner that specializes in various progressive forms of sports medicine in the form of pills, extracts and holographic patches.
According to a Sports Illustrated article that officially hits stands on Feb. 4, Lewis was given a spray extracted from the velvet of deer antlers in hopes of rehabilitating his injury during the season.
Deer antler velvet is "the fastest-growing substance on planet Earth," according to S.W.A.T.S.' Christopher Key. The substance reportedly contains IGF-1, or insulin-like growth factor, which is an anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth. Also according to Key, human growth hormone (HGH) is converted in the liver into IGF-1.
Very much like HGH, IGF-1 is also considered a banned substance according to the National Football League, the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency, to name just a few.
According to the article, S.W.A.T.S. owner Mitch Ross taped a phone conversation he had with Lewis about taking the supplement in order to return to the field as quickly as possible.
Ross prescribed a deluxe program, including holographic stickers on the right elbow; copious quantities of the powder additive; sleeping in front of a beam-ray light programmed with frequencies for tissue regeneration and pain relief; drinking negatively charged water; a 10-per-day regimen of the deer-antler pills that will "rebuild your brain via your small intestines" (and which Lewis said he hadn't been taking, then swallowed four during the conversation); and spritzes of deer-antler velvet extract (the Ultimate Spray) every two hours.
"Spray on my elbow every two hours?" Lewis asked.
"No," Ross said, "under your tongue."
Toward the end of the talk, Lewis asked Ross to "just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week."
A Baltimore Ravens team official has since told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that he has not tested positive for a banned substance and denies using it.