Deer antler extract became an unlikely player in Super Bowl week on Tuesday with a Sports Illustrated article alleging Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis contacted a company that sells it called S.W.A.T.S. about the product after tearing his triceps this season.
The extract contains IGF-1, which is on the NFL’s list of banned substances, and Lewis denied using the extract at Media Day on Tuesday. Mitch Ross, one of the owners of the company, was a guest on Bull & Fox on 92.3 in Cleveland Tuesday and reiterated much of what he said in the SI piece. He’s known Lewis for many years, first meeting him through current Bengals assistant Hue Jackson, and gave him the products asking only that Lewis credit S.W.A.T.S. with helping him when he made his return. Ross said he didn’t know why Lewis didn’t do that on Tuesday, although he does admit to using products from the company in the SI article.
After giving a lengthy explanation of what IGF-1 does and why he believes his company has been unfairly targeted by the NFL. Ross, who is pitching a lot more than just the deer antler extract, also said that he wants to market his products — presumably the ones that haven’t been banned by the league — to one team exclusively to prove that they provide an edge by keeping players healthier than the opposition.
It seems like an unlikely proposition, although Ross’s purported client list show that missing the league’s stamp of approval isn’t hurting the company all that much.