Ray Lewis brushes off question about reported use of banned substance

NEW ORLEANS - So Media Day at the Superdome has come to a close. The mayhem of the mass amount of broadcast, print and Internet media and the mixture of both pertinent questions and absurd ones is over for one day.

While some might wonder about Ravens coach John Harbaugh's favorite offseason meal or Anquan Boldin's favorite color, we might get to that later.

First up is the one significant newsy bit of the day and that's a Sports Illustrated report that linebacker Ray Lewis might've used a banned substance to help him return from his torn triceps for his final playoff run.

The report, as ridiculous as the details may sound, indicates Lewis contacted a company owned by a former male stripper to buy deer-antler extract.

The product, however, contains IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1), which is one of the NFL's banned substances. It is a compound usually produced from human growth hormone and is extracted from deer antler velvet.

Lewis shrugged off a question about it at Tuesday's media session.

"Two years ago, that was the same report. I wouldn't give that report or him any of my (attention)," Lewis said. "He's not worthy of that. Next question."

Yahoo! Sports, in fact, ran the similar report on Jan. 20, 2011.

"Ray Lewis is linked to this controversy through text messages with a supplier," the 2011 article said. "Here's guessing most fans will just shrug. Or laugh. The meanest linebacker of this generation might be playing with Bambi in him?

"Some will actually applaud the resourcefulness of a veteran prolonging his career; after all, the game is more exciting with Ray Lewis in it."

Nothing progressed from that report and Harbaugh didn't give the latest one much credence either when asked about it on Tuesday.

"Ray Lewis works real hard," Harbaugh said. "He's passed every single substance test he's ever taken in the National Football League. I think it sometimes diminishes the hard work that a guy might do, but it's OK. Our guys don't care about that at all."