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Ray Lewis allegations: Ravens linebacker accused of using banned substance in 2012

A deer-antler spray Lewis was given to help his torn triceps recover contains a substance banned by the NFL, every other major professional sports league, and the NCAA.

Al Bello

ESPN reporter Sal Palantonio was given access to a Sports Illustrated story that will appear in that publication's Feb. 4 edition claiming Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis used a product containing a substance banned by the NFL in the process of rehabilitating from a torn triceps he suffered in the 2012 season.

Lewis, a figurehead of media attention this week at the Super Bowl, missed multiple games after incurring the injury, and has already announced he will retire after the Super Bowl.

Allegedly, Lewis used a substance scientifically referred to as IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), that was given to him by Mitch Ross, a co-owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS), according to Sports Illustrated. IGF-1 is the main ingredient in the company's deer-antler spray.

Ravens vice president of communications Kevin Byrne confirmed Lewis has "never been notified of a failed test."

Lewis denied the allegations, saying he did not wish to give the company any publicity.

The timing of the story could serve as a distraction as Lewis holds court over proceedings in "Super Bowl RL." If the allegations are found to be true, however, it may taint much more than just the last game in which Lewis will play.