Mark Schlereth on the Sports Illustrated story that Ray Lewis discussed a banned substance with the owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (S.W.A.T.S.) .
The SI story talks about a deer-antler spray that Lewsis reportedly took in order to recover from the torn triceps Lewis suffered on October 14. Instead of being a season ending injury, Lewis was back in time for the playoffs, and the SI story says that the deer-antler spray contains IGF-1 which is on the NFL’s list of banned substances.
Christopher Key, who works for S.W.A.T.S., described the company’s products to a group of Alabama football players before the BCS National Championship in 2012. He recorded the conversation.
“You’re familiar with HGH, correct?” asked Key, referring to human growth hormone. “It’s converted in the liver to IGF-1.” IGF-1, or -insulin-like growth factor, is a natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth. “We have deer that we harvest out of New Zealand,” Key said. “Their antlers are the fastest-growing substance on planet Earth . . . because of the high concentration of IGF-1. We’ve been able to freeze dry that out, extract it, put it in a sublingual spray that you shake for 20 seconds and then spray three [times] under your tongue. . . . This stuff has been around for almost 1,000 years, this is stuff from the Chinese.”