Deer Antler Spray - Who Knew? - is Latest Cheating Craze in Major League BaseballOn the two nights before the Jan. A few brought family members, but most arrived in clusters with teammates. They came in search of an edge. The room belonged to Christopher Key, who was in town to demonstrate the wares of S. Stocky and genial, with short black hair carefully curled at his forehead, Key began by telling the players that there would be thousands of cellphones in the Superdome the following night and that frequencies from those phones would be swirling through deer-antler spray as steroids-alternative prompts warning bodies.
Deer Antler Spray Side Effects | BioSynergy
On the two nights before the Jan. A few brought family members, but most arrived in clusters with teammates. They came in search of an edge. The room belonged to Christopher Key, who was in town to demonstrate the wares of S. Stocky and genial, with short black hair carefully curled at his forehead, Key began by telling the players that there would be thousands of cellphones in the Superdome the following night and that frequencies from those phones would be swirling through their bodies.
Key asked 6'6", pound defensive end Quinton Dial to hold one arm out to his side and to keep the arm up when Key tried to push it down. Dial, who towered over the 5'8" Key, did so easily. Two fingers, everything you got on three, O.
This time, while holding the phone to Dial's chest, Key easily forced the player's arm down to his side. And then Key passed out his remedy for the frequencies: Key told the players that on game day they should place the chips on three acupuncture points -- one on the inside of each wrist before they tape their arms the chips also come embedded in bracelets , and one over the heart.
Like the star of an infomercial flush with catchphrases -- "Guys, this stuff is beyond real! Then he held up a canister containing a powder additive, to be mixed in water or juice, that he said had put muscle mass on a woman who was in a coma, and an oscillating "beam ray" lightbulb that could "knock out" the swine flu virus in 90 minutes. Finally, he pulled out a bottle of deer-antler spray which also comes in pill form.
Adrian Hubbard, a linebacker sitting on one of the queen beds, said he already had some, but Key explained its benefits for the others. We've been able to freeze dry that out, extract it, put it in a sublingual spray that you shake for 20 seconds and then spray three [times] under your tongue.
This stuff has been around for almost 1, years, this is stuff from the Chinese. Alleging that the NFL warned players away from S. And so on the eve of facing LSU in the biggest game of their careers, a clutch of Alabama players huddled around Key, an aggressive pitchman who once was arrested for trespassing after giving chips and the beam-ray treatment to an LSU player in his hotel room at the Senior Bowl.
The charges were dropped, but he was banned from the hotel for life. Neither Key nor S. Unbeknownst to Crimson Tide coaches, S. He handed out some of the company's products gratis -- "It should never come up, but I'll go to the grave saying you bought this," Key told them -- and one, linebacker Alex Watkins, six months later gave a video testimonial on YouTube citing the boost he got from the chips, water and deer-antler pills during Bama's BCS title victory.
It was a good night for S. Modern science may scoff at holographic stickers and negatively charged water, but that matters little if the right athlete becomes a believer or, better yet, a proselytizer. The boundaries of medical science expand at too glacial a pace for many athletes desperate to enhance their performance. That desperation, in turn, represents a business opportunity for self ordained sports science entrepreneurs operating in the shadowy, multibillion-dollar athletic-supplement industry.
Key had given some of S. If it works we will use it. Every company has its own spin, its own narrative and its own method for using big time sports to create demand.
Take Lake Forest, Calif. Power Balance capitalized on the NBA star power of Shaquille O'Neal, who swore by the bracelets, and Lamar Odom, who was given a stake in the company in exchange for his endorsement. The ubiquity of Power Balance bracelets on sidelines around the world attracted the attention not only of scientists but also of authorities in Australia, where products purporting to offer health and performance benefits are tightly regulated. In the Australian and American divisions of Power Balance filed for bankruptcy and the company was sold to a Chinese creditor.
Unlike Power Balance, S. According to Ross, the company broke even last year, and both he and Key hold down side jobs to make ends meet. The building, once a motorcycle repair shop, is primarily a gym where Ross, the company's founder, runs his personal training business. What passes for a lab -- computers, a water ionizer, beam-ray lights -- is in a storage room in the back. There, a few feet from a Pop-a-Shot game and perched on a shelf in front of a wooden crucifix, are what look like two large, silver Christmas tree ornaments.
Between them sit plastic tubs filled with bottles of deer-antler spray. Ross is quick to tell visitors that his spray is no different from that sold by other supplement purveyors and that the hologram chips "are just stickers" -- that is, until the spray and the chips are "programmed" with both S. The theoretical underpinning offered by Key is that radio waves can be stored in fluids the spray and in holograms the chips , and that when an athlete consumes the fluid or wears the holograms, the radio waves are re-emitted and prompt his body to create specific nutrients and hormones -- from vitamin B to testosterone.
Key says that it's not unlike the way particular wavelengths of sunlight cause the human body to produce vitamin D. In the musty storage room, the holographic stickers and bottles of deer-antler spray are irradiated for 24 straight hours or more in what Ross and Key say is an effort to program them with performance-enhancing frequencies. The concept springs partly from the work of Royal Raymond Rife, a s American inventor who claimed that he could zap viruses with a contraption that emitted radio waves, akin to the way that a soprano who hits the right vocal frequency can shatter a wine glass.
Rife's acolytes -- and Key is one -- claim that Rife cured 16 terminal cancer patients but that his achievement was scuttled by a conspiracy of the American Medical Association.
In truth there is not a crumb of accepted scientific backing for any of the frequency technology that Rife created; a American Cancer Society review concluded that radio-wave devices do not have "objective benefit in the treatment of cancer in human beings. In the decades since Rife died in , versions of "Rife devices" have contributed to the deaths of cancer patients who relied on them in lieu of chemotherapy.
Key told the Alabama players that he could cure running back Trent Richardson 's mother of lupus, and when a diabetic man wandered into S. No such thing as negatively charged water exists, according to Stephen Lower, an emeritus chemistry professor at Canada's Simon Fraser University who has lectured on the structure of water. The idea that hologram stickers or deer-antler extract will encode radio waves emitted near them defies basic physics.
In tests at his lab at the NYU Polytechnic Institute, radio frequency expert and electrical engineering professor Michael Knox showed SI that the hologram chips did not alter the frequencies transmitted by a cell-phone at all.
As far as interfering with a cellphone signal, the antistatic bag that the chips came in was more effective than the chips themselves. Knox also determined that the glue adhesive on the back of the chips acts as an insulator, preventing any transmission between the chips and the skin.
The antechamber at S. Ross met Damon through a friend and flew to Tampa for spring training in , when the outfielder was with the Yankees. Ross says he accompanied a group of players on a hospital visit to meet wounded veterans and gave Damon chips for neck pain. Team, as well as encourage other current and former professional athletes to do the same. He grew up in Birmingham down the street from Lynn Kenny, who claimed to have cured his own prostate cancer using a -Rife inspired beam ray, then traveled the world, avowing he could cure cancer and AIDS.
In the FDA wrote Kenny a warning letter informing him that his beam ray claims constituted a "serious violation of the law. The previous hologram sticker company for which he worked, 8IGHT, let him go for exaggerating the benefits of its products. Key says he believes he was stating their true benefits. Shortly after that, in late , he joined S.
Key has used athlete testimonials and pictures or videos of himself with sports figures to gain instant credibility with prospective clients. Bill Goldberg, a former NFL defensive lineman and pro wrestler, says he started using the full range of S. I respect them and trust their opinions. In describing his products to SI as well as to the Alabama players , Key wasted little time in mentioning David Pascoe, an exercise scientist at Auburn.
Key says that Pascoe tested the frequency stickers and was "blown away" by the technology. He also claims that Pascoe, through team doctors, allowed him to treat safety Zac Etheridge's broken neck using the light beam and chips, and his range of motion almost completely returned. Pascoe's recollection is different. He says he met Key, but he never tested frequency stickers or steered him to an injured athlete; Etheridge also denies being treated by Key.
At one point Pascoe considered retaining a lawyer if Key did not stop using his name as part of S. The year-old Ross drives a Suburban that is essentially a rolling S. He considers the compilation of testimonials to constitute quintessential scientific proof. You give [our products] to a kick-ass running back, and after he has yards, he says, 'My cuts were great. Ross has been a supreme salesman since he was a child in Atlanta. For a fourth-grade candy sale he told his mother to drop him off at Kmart and leave him there, alone.
He spent the day approaching strangers and won a skateboard as the top seller. When Ross's mother ordered him to move out as soon as he graduated from high school -- he is dyslexic, and struggled at school and at home -- Ross relocated to Douglasville, Ga.
He started lifting weights every day and, he says, dabbled in steroids. Between 18 and 20, Ross lived in dozens of places and held as many jobs, including as a salesman at the Gap, a pool cleaner and a male stripper, before settling into personal training at a Bally's in Atlanta.
He says he was so successful that he started managing gyms. I am a loser. In , Ross found Christ. And soon, he found frequencies. A powerlifter friend gave him a frequency patch, and "it put 10 reps on my pound bench," Ross says. Convinced that he had a performance enhancer, Ross pounded the pavement. In , he staked out the Alabama football facility, waiting to give players hologram stickers. He had begun to build his clientele in '07 with a few NFL players, whom he knew through a Miami trainer.
He gave out his card, he says, to "probably people. His pitch to Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson was more in-depth. In an earlier version of the story Jamal Lewis's statement was misattributed. It has been corrected. Ross says Jackson invited him to organized team activities at the Ravens ' facility, where Ross handed out chips to players. The 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. In , after Jackson was hired as coach of the Raiders , Ross met him in a Nashville restaurant on the eve of the opener against the Titans to videotape a testimonial. In the interview, which Ross put on YouTube, they discuss what would happen if Jackson failed to provide Ravens with the stickers. I think anything that can help your athlete perform legally better, I think everybody's for it.