The good news is that linebacker Ray Lewis may not be facing many questions about a 13-year-old controversy during media day. The bad news is that there’s a fresh topic into which the assembled reporters will want to delve when Lewis and the Ravens gather at the Superdome for the annual exercise in journalistic hysteria.
According to Sports Illustrated, Lewis contacted a company owned by a former male stripper to obtain a deer-antler velvet extract after tearing his triceps in October.
Mitch Ross of S.W.A.T.S reportedly videotaped the phone call from Lewis.
“Spray on my elbow every two hours?” Lewis asked Ross regarding the extract, via Philly.com. (Quotes from the conversation don’t appear in the free online version of the Sports Illustrated article; presumably, Philly.com gleaned the info from the full article.)
“No,” Ross said. “Under your tongue.”
Later, 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.”
The problem for Lewis is that the extract contains IGF-1, which is on the NFL’s list of banned substances. For the NFL, the problem is that Lewis will retire after Sunday. So there’s really nothing that can be done — unless Lewis admits to it on Tuesday and the league puts the investigative process into the highest gear possible.
Even then, it’s impossible that the matter would progress through all available appeals before Sunday night.