NEW ORLEANS - After denying use of deer antler spray to advance his recovery from what many believed a season-ending triceps tear, Ray Lewis stood before hundreds of media members Wednesday before practice and said much of the same.
"I've never, ever took what he said I have," Lewis said with a smile on his face.
Angry? Lewis said he's too blessed to be stressed by what he described as a foolish attack by a man he called a coward.
"It's just sad, once again, that someone can have this much attention on a stage this big," Lewis said. "...I don't need it, my teammates don't need it, the 49ers don't need it."
The initial denial by Lewis on Tuesday was supported by the Ravens organization, which said the team's captain has passed all drug tests.
The chatter among reporters in town for Super Bowl 47 then begged the question, "Does the NFL test for deer antler spray?"
The answer is a bit muddy.
The NFL has banned the substance, and tests for it, but tests cannot currently detect deer antler spray and similar performance enhancing drugs.
News of Lewis' alleged use of the substance broke Tuesday in advance of an article by Sports Illustrated in which a sports science business owner claims he was approached by Lewis and told, "send me one of everything."
The article appears in the February 4th edition of Sports Illustrated.