Mitch Ross, a co-owner for a supplement company called Sports with Alternatives to Steroids, alleges that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis used one of their products designed to help Lewis heal from a torn right triceps in October. The product that Lewis was alleged to have taken was a deer antler velvet spray, which included IGF-1, a substance banned by the NFL. According to Ross, he met Lewis through Bengals assistant coach Hue Jackson, the Baltimore Sun reports.
On Wednesday Jackson issued an apology.
"First of all, I'm disappointed for the Ravens," Jackson told The Sun in a telephone interview Wednesday night. "You hate to ever put an organization in that kind of situation. I never knew the young man [Ross] could be that way. I apologize for the whole organization. It should be about the Super Bowl. I met the guy at the [NFL] combine in 2008.
"What happened is you think everybody is doing things for the right reason. I knew there was nothing illegal based on information given by him. He always talked about things, saying they were already approved by the NFL. You live and you learn. I dealt with that two years ago. Anytime it comes up, my name is mentioned."
"What I needed to do was apologize to Steve Bisciotti, John Harbaugh, Dick Cass and the Ravens' organization," said Jackson, the Ravens' quarterbacks coach from 2008 to 2009. "I'm the person who introduced him to people. Lesson learned."
Ross also alleges that it's not the first time Lewis has received their products, giving a detailed explanation on how he met the future Hall of Famer.
“I was introduced to Ray Lewis by Hue Jackson, and I began working with him that year after I was originally supposed to work with Steve McNair,” Ross said. “As soon as I saw him hurt his arm against the Dallas Cowboys, I texted Ray. He texted me back after the game and said, ‘Possible torn triceps.’ Once that was confirmed by the doctors, I asked Ray if he wanted me to set up a program for him and he said, ‘Yes.’ I got him set up and now he’s back on the field."
Jackson is reportedly sliding over as the team's running backs coach in 2013 after long-time assistant Jim Anderson announced his retirement this week.