NEW YORK, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis Tuesday denied a report he used a deer antler extract that contains a banned performance-enhancing substance.
Mitch Ross, the owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids, based in Alabama, said in a Sports Illustrated report published Tuesday he provided "about 40 bottles" of the deer antler spray -- which contains the growth hormone IGF-1 -- to Lewis last year as the 13-time Pro Bowl linebacker was recovering from a torn triceps.
SI reported Ross produced a recording of a conversation with Lewis in which the Ravens star tells Ross to "just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week."
Like the banned human growth hormone, IGF-1 is detectable only by blood tests, which NFL players are not yet required to take as the players' union and the league negotiate ground rules for them.
Lewis -- the Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl XXXV -- initially sidestepped questions about the story Tuesday in New Orleans, where the Ravens are preparing to play in Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII, The New York Times reported.
"Two years ago, that was the same report," he said. "I wouldn't give that report or him any of my press. He's not worthy of that. Next question."
However, when asked directly if he had ever used deer-antler velvet extract spray, Lewis said, "Nah, never," the Los Angeles Times reported.