12:26 PM EST, February 2, 2013
NEW ORLEANS --
Mitch Ross, the supplement maker who allegedly provided deer antler velvet spray to Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis, said during a news conference Friday that he's received death threats from angry Ravens fans.
Ross didn't provide any specific information about the alleged threats, though.
"It's unfortunate that I'm getting death threats from Ravens fans," said a sleeveless Ross, who was wearing a black skull cap and displaying bottles of the spray and other products, including performance chips, which aren't banned by the NFL. "I got duped by Sports Illustrated. They catfished me."
Lewis has vehemently denied the report he used the spray, which contains a banned substance. Lewis says he has never tested positive for a banned substance. He called Ross a "coward."
Ross said he provided a recovery protocol for Lewis following his injury in October against the Dallas Cowboys that required surgery. Ross also said that he provided products to aid Lewis' recovery from a hamstring injury in 2009 and a toe injury in 2011.
Ross declined to reveal text messages or shipping labels to prove his connection to Lewis.
"Ray was right about one thing," Ross said. "This whole story, this whole slander, was the tactics of the devil."
Ross expressed anger at Sports Illustrated, which first reported the story, and how he was portrayed.
"They dated me for two years and then made me look like a goofball," Ross said. "I'm trying to make right the wrong, let Ray play his football game and go into retirement. I thought Sports Illustrated was going to be my Holy Grail. But what did they do? They derailed me.
"Ninety-five percent of the athletes, once they get what they need from me, they throw me under the bus. 'I don't know that guy. I didn't do this. I didn't do that. Ray Lewis said the other day that I worked with him before the story ran, two years ago. That's all I'm going to say."
When asked pointed questions about IGF-1, Ross replied: "It's in steak and in milk; there's nothing synthetic," Ross said. "Everything I do is natural. I have a doctor in Hawaii ready to go on air with whoever wants to interview me and this doctor, the No. 1 natural IGF-1 guy in the world that will tell the world that this will reverse the symptoms of ALS."
Ross drew laughter when he said that people have two brains, one in their head and another in their stomach.
When asked by The Baltimore Sun if he was a former stripper, Ross replied: "Yes. I made some mistakes when I was 19, 20 years old. I'm a Christian and I live a different life now."
Ross denied using the opportunity of the Super Bowl to get publicity for his company, saying: "I didn't use Ray Lewis."
Ross did say he sent Lewis a text message this week. Lewis' name was able to be seen in Ross' text messages on his phone from Monday as he scrolled through his phone.
"Ray did not text me," he said. "I texted him and said, 'God bless." Ray has not texted me recently. God is good. He knows my heart."
Ross concluded his session by saying: "I'm not a goofball."
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