NEW ORLEANS - Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh doesn't believe the report that Ray Lewis used a deer antler spray containing the banned substance IGF-1 to aid in his recovery from a torn triceps during the regular season.
"He kind of laughed about it and told me there's nothing to it," Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh is taking Lewis at his word after a brief discussion about the accusation, and both men will put the issue to rest before it has a chance to balloon into a bigger distraction.
"The thing about Ray is he is one of the most focused - he's been through so much," Harbaugh said. "Ray, he's a focused individual. He understands what's important and he understands what's important is our football team heading into Sunday. And he also knows there's nothing to it. I understand that's something that he has never ever been involved with. I think it's kind of too bad that someone was given the opportunity to get some free publicity out there, undeserved and unearned, really for no reason. As a football team, that's not even a factor for us so we're moving right through to our challenge which is the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night."
Lewis said Wednesday the claims are fiction.
"I think it's probably one of the most embarrassing things that we can do on this type of stage. I think it takes totally away from - you give somebody the ability to come into our world," Lewis said. "Our world is a very secret society, and we try to protect our world as much as we can. But, when you let cowards come in and do things like that, to try to disturb something. I've said it before, I've said a million times, the reason why I am smiling is because it is so funny of a story, because I never, ever, took what he says I - whatever I was supposed to do. ... It's foolish. It's very foolish, and the guy has no credibility. He's been sued four or five times over the same B.S. Just to entertain it, I can't, I won't and I just truly believe he doesn't have the privilege for me to speak about it ever again."
Lewis was lauded by defensive coordinator Dean Pees and Harbaugh for quickly dismissing the report, and being proactive in discussing the allegations.
"He told me the same thing he told you guys. Ray is honest, Ray is straight forward," Harbaugh said. "He's told us in the past, he's never taken any of that stuff, ever. I believe Ray. I trust Ray completely. We have a relationship. I know this man, and I know what he's all about. It's too bad that this has to be something that gets so much play."