NEW ORLEANS — Smiling, even laughing, at questions about a report linking him to a company that purports to make performance-enhancers, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said Wednesday he “never, ever took” the stuff.
Lewis described himself as “agitated,” not angry, that the story has become part of the Super Bowl-week prelude to Baltimore’s game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
He added that he’s certain his teammates won’t be distracted by the report in Sports Illustrated. The magazine said Lewis sought help from a company that says its deer-antler spray and pills contain a banned product connected to human growth hormone.
In a private conversation with Ravens coach John Harbaugh, and later in the public setting of a news conference, Lewis distanced himself from Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (SWATS). According to the report, Lewis asked Ross to send him deer-antler spray and pills, along with other items made by the company.
The magazine reported that when it spoke to Lewis for its story, he acknowledged asking SWATS owner Rick Ross for “some more of the regular stuff” on the night of the injury and that he has been associated with the company “for a couple years.”
Lewis’ stance Wednesday was different.
“He told me there’s nothing to it. … He’s told us in the past, he’s told us now, that he’s never taken any of that stuff, ever. And I believe Ray” Harbaugh said.
Christopher Key, a co-owner of SWATS, said the deer-antler products made by SWATS “helped the body repair, regrow and rejuvenate” and that “you will never fail a drug test from taking our product.”
He added that SWATS has sold its products to more than 20 college football players each at SEC schools Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, LSU and Georgia.
49ers’ Culliver sorry for anti-gay comments
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized for anti-gay remarks he made during a Super Bowl media day interview a day earlier.
“The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel,” he said in a statement released by the team. “It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience.”
During an interview Tuesday at the Superdome, Culliver responded to questions from comedian Artie Lange by saying he wouldn’t welcome a gay player in the locker room. He also said the 49ers didn’t have any homosexual players and, if they did, those players should leave.
Seattle’s Hill arrested on assault charges
Seattle Seahawks and former Clemson linebacker Leroy Hill was arrested after police say he assaulted his girlfriend and kept her in his home against her will. Hill was arrested on investigation of unlawful imprisonment-domestic violence and third-degree assault-domestic violence. Both charges are felonies in Washington state. It’s at least the fourth time Hill, 30, has been arrested and the second time he’s been accused of domestic violence.