Mitch Ross, had you ever heard of him? No, neither had I, yet look here I am writing about him, and his company as have hundreds of columnist. Had you heard of Spots with Alternatives to Steroids(SWATS)? Well in the past 36 hours he sure has made a name for himself and his company.
Mitch Ross has accused Ray Lewis of taking deer antler spray which contains IGF-1, a banned substance in the NFL. Ross says Lewis asked him to provide him with products that would help speed up his healing process from a torn triceps he suffered on Oct 14.
This story has gained momentum as SWATS is the subject of an in-depth profile in the next issue of Sports Illustrated. You can also read a version of the story on SI.com.
Lewis has stuck to being Ray Lewis by retorting to questions about the situation by saying he doesn’t want to give the company any publicity and why should he respond to any question about this “stupidity.” Lewis said, “two years ago, it was the same report. I wouldn’t give that report or him any of my press. He’s not worthy of that. Next question.”
What Lewis was referring to was a Jan. 19, 2011, story by Yahoo! Sports on SWATS. Hue Jackson,who was the Ravens quarterback coach from 2008-2009, and at the time was the Raiders’ head coach, was told by the NFL to cut ties with the company. Ross told ThePostGame.com in 2011 that he gave Jackson free products that the coach gave to Lewis, and other players.
In a statement to ESPN Kevin Byrne, the Ravens vice president of communications said, “Ray has been randomly tested for banned substances and has never failed a test. We have never been notified of a failed test. He has never been notified of a failed test.”
The NFLPA released a statement saying the league does test for IGF-1, but the NFL said it is not detectable with the league’s current testing methods.
The question now is where does this go from here? Ray Lewis is a first ballot Hall of Famer, possibly the greatest linebacker ever, and one of the top players of all-time. Lewis has went 17 seasons without testing positive, why would he in the final year of his career decide to use a banned substance? This is a story that has many questions, and few answers.
Mitch Ross operates a company that basically enables athletes to cheat their respective sports drug testing system. How credible is a man whose business is built around cheating and lies? This seems like a great way to get himself press and his company in the limelight.
Lewis has always been forward with any situation he has faced, including the murder trial in 2000. Lewis comes across as a live life on his sleeve type of man. With all these years of clean tests why risk that legacy for a few games at the end of your career? Yes, there is the thought of Lewis using this IGF-1 to get back on the field to make that last run to a Super Bowl, and the Lombardi Trophy. Whatever comes out of this, one thing is for sure Lewis’ legacy is in the balance. By Steve Kish