Ravens try to remain focused ahead of the Super Bowl
As they say, it is all about the timing, and Ray Lewis the star linebacker of the Baltimore Ravens wishes the timing of the release of a PED report had happened in February. Lewis and his teammates are busy preparing to take on the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII, but have been distracted by the report that claims Lewis used substances that were banned.
The report links Lewis to a company that purportedly makes performance-enhancing drugs, but on Wednesday, Lewis denied he ever took the stuff in question.
Lewis said he had become agitated that this story was taking away from the game during the two week preparations before the big game on Sunday. He told reporters his teammates are not and will not be distracted by the story that was just released in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated.
However, it is virtually impossible not to be distracted as a player since at least one question of any interview with any player is about Lewis and the recent report. When the report was released Lewis tried to distance himself from the company (Sports With Alternatives to Steroids – SWATS) named in the articles.
The report says Lewis called and asked SWATS owner Mitch Ross to send the player deer-antler pills and spray, as well as other items the company has. The magazine said when they asked Lewis at the time they were investigating the story he told them he had ordered regular stuff from the company and had been associated with the business for a few years.
On Wednesday, the linebacker’s story was different.
John Harbaugh, the Baltimore Ravens head coach has staunchly defended Lewis saying they have asked Lewis about it and he said he has never ingested the stuff. Harbaugh said he believed Lewis and trusted him completely. Harbaugh is just upset that this type of story is getting so much attention when everyone should be focused on the game and its players.
SWATS says the products help the body recover and re-grow quicker after injury. One of the co-owners said that over 20 college football players have used their products, including players from Auburn LSU, Georgia and national champion Alabama.
Lewis is not immune to controversy. In 2001, he pleaded guilty to obstructing justice following a double murder at an Atlanta party after a Super Bowl.
Lewis told reporters his teammates were focused and ready to play. The game will be Lewis’ last as he has announced his retirement. He and his Ravens’ defensive unit have not played as they have in the past, but the offense for the team has kept them in ball games. However, against the 49ers, the Ravens will face a scrambling quarterback in Colin Kaepernick and that could create problems for the team’s front seven.
As the game gets closer, the focus will go back to the playing field and off the controversial topic of PED’s.
Lewis will be disappointed come the end of Sunday’s game, not because of the PED report or because he is retiring, but because the 49ers will defeat the Ravens 34-28 in the game.