S.W.A.T.S. (Sports With Alternatives To Steroids) is a two-man company that pushes things like holographic stickers, deer antler spray for under the tongue, and negatively charged water. The only thing missing is some three-penis wine. Sports Illustrated has the fantastic story of how two guys have gotten lots of famous athletes to try their product in the search of an edge. The most famous is Ray Lewis, who talked to the company founder, Mitch Ross, the night he suffered his triceps tear.
Ross is a former male stripper and steroid user body builder because of course he is. Neither he nor the other S.W.A.T.S. employee, Christopher Key, have any background in science. You don’t need science when you know how to sell deer antlers and made up water to athletes who must literally believe anything. The list of athletes besides Ray Lewis mentioned in the story as being tied to S.W.A.T.S. at some time in the past includes Johnny Damon, Jamal Lewis, Vijay Singh, Shawne Merriman, and several members of the Alabama football team. Heath Evans, who is an analyst for the NFL Network, and is supposed to provide cogent analysis, takes deer antler spray and pills daily.
The biggest pusher has been former Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, who basically got most of the Baltimore team to use products from S.W.A.T.S, and was even told by the NFL to disassociate with the company.
Some of it is funny, some of it is dangerously stupid (Ross has something called a concussion cap he wants to use on 9-12 year olds, and thinks he can prevent brain injuries), and some of it could lead to bigger problems for athletes.
David Vobora had a positive test and was suspended for PED’s. The substance that triggered it came from S.W.A.T.S. He sued the company, which is so legitimate that they didn’t even defend the lawsuit and allowed a default judgement to be entered. The deer antler spray is alleged to contain IGF-1, a banned substance that is a by-product of HGH, though the NFL does not test for HGH. If the allegations about Ray Lewis contained in the report are true (and it says that the phone conversation was taped) he may have taken a banned substance during his comeback, in addition to all the other pseudo-science wackiness.
Manti Te’o now has an out when teased. He may have had a fake internet girlfriend, but at least he didn’t waste time with things like negatively charged water and holographic stickers. Talk about gullible.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]