Bengals Assistant Coach Hue Jackson issued an apology yesterday for introducing Ravens MLB Ray Lewis to Mitch Ross, the owner of S.W.A.T.S., a company that’s been linked to PEDs. When Hue was the Ravens quarterbacks coach in 2008, he introduced the two, and now Ross is accusing Lewis of taking a substance containing IGF-1, a substance banned by the NFL:
His pitch to Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson was more in-depth. Ross name dropped college teams and then performed the -cellphone/-balance test. “Jamal and Coach Jackson followed up, and that’s all it took,” Ross says. “[Lewis] went through about 40 bottles of the [deer-antler] spray.” (Lewis said, “that isn’t true” through a spokesman for the Ravens, with whom he started his career.)
Ross says Jackson invited him to organized team activities at the Ravens’ facility, where Ross handed out chips to players. The 2008 season was a turnaround year for Baltimore and, according to Ross, Jackson was soon calling him for more products. (Jackson did not return a message from SI asking about S.W.A.T.S.)
Lewis is now facing questions of PED-use as he prepares to play the final game of his 17-year NFL career. Here is Jackson’s apology:
First of all, I’m disappointed for the Ravens. 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.
We certainly haven’t heard the last of this story.