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Deer antler story 'trick of the devil' says Ray Lewis

Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis waits for

Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis waits for the start of the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots. (Jan. 20, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

NEW ORLEANS -- Ray Lewis said that allegations about his use of a banned substance are "the trick of the devil."

According to a report by Sports Illustrated that came out this week, the Ravens linebacker used deer antler extract to help in his recovery from a torn triceps this season. That substance contains IGF-1, which is banned by the NFL. Lewis vehemently denied the report on Tuesday, but Wednesday he took it a step further.

"That's the trick of the devil," Lewis said. "The trick of the devil is to kill, steal and destroy. That's what he comes to do. He comes to distract you from everything you're trying to do."

Reporters at the Super Bowl weren't the only ones asking Lewis about the report. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he asked Lewis about it.

"He kind of laughed about it and said there's nothing to it," Harbaugh said. "Ray is honest. Ray is straightforward."

Meanwhile, another professional athlete stepped forward Wednesday for using the antler elixir. Golfer Vijay Singh issued a statement saying that the Sports Illustrated report on Lewis brought his attention to the substance he was using and believing to be all-natural.

"While I have used deer antler spray, at no time was I aware that it may contain a substance that is banned under the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Policy," Singh said in the statement. "In fact, when I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances. I am absolutely shocked that deer antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position."

Lewis, though, is retiring after the Super Bowl on Sunday and the NFL likely will have no recourse to punish him if, in fact, he did use the substance. IGF-1 can only be detected through blood sampling, and the NFL does not have a program in place to test players' blood for performance-enhancing drugs.

Unlike Singh, Lewis is denying having ever taken the substance -- knowingly or not.

"I never, ever, took what he says," Lewis said of his accuser, Mitch Ross, co-owner of Sports With Alternative to Steroids (S.W.A.T.S.). "It's foolish. It's very foolish, and the guy has no credibility."

New York Sports