NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

January 31, 2013

Lewis says he's 'agitated,' not angry about story

(Continued)

Lewis’ stance yesterday was different.

“He told me there’s nothing to it. ... He’s told us in the past, he’s told us now, that he’s never taken any of that stuff, ever. And I believe Ray. I trust Ray completely. We have a relationship. I know this man. And I know what he’s all about,” Harbaugh said. “It’s just too bad it has to be something that gets so much play.”

Christopher Key, a co-owner of SWATS, said in a telephone interview that the company removed from its website NFL players’ endorsements because “all the players were given letters by the NFL two years ago saying they had to cease and desist and could not continue to do business with us anymore.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that, but did not respond to other requests for comment about the company or Lewis’ involvement.

Key said the deer-antler products made by SWATS “helped the body repair, regrow and rejuvenate” and that “you will never fail a drug test from taking our product.”

He added that SWATS has sold its products to more than 20 college football players each at Southeastern Conference schools Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, LSU and Georgia.

Alabama has sent two cease and desist letters to the company, university spokeswoman Debbie Lane said, adding: “UA has been aware of this situation for some time, and we have monitored this company for several years.”

Auburn spokesman Kirk Sampson said that school sent a cease-and-desist letter in 2011.

In an emailed statement, Ross said: “It is the view of SWATS and Mitch Ross that the timing of information was unfortunate and misleading and was in no way intended to harm any athlete. We have always been about aiding athletes to heal faster and participate at an optimum level of play in a lawful and healthy manner. We never encourage the use of harmful supplements and/or dangerous drugs.”

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