The NFL has ordered new Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson to sever ties with a company that sells supplements and markets a product the company says contains IGF-1, a substance banned by the NFL and other major sports organizations.
Jackson, who was promoted from offensive coordinator by the Raiders on Tuesday, began endorsing a company called Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (S.W.A.T.S.) while he was an assistant with the Baltimore Ravens from 2008 to 2009. Jackson ended his association with the company this month.
One of the S.W.A.T.S. products, “The Ultimate Spray,” is labeled as containing deer antler velvet extract. On the company website, swatsteam.com, the spray is said to contain “very delicate and unique nutritional properties … such as IGF-1 and other growth factors.” IGF-1 is banned by the NFL.
S.W.A.T.S. owner Mitch Ross told ThePostGame.com he met Jackson at the NFL Combine in 2008 and forged a relationship. Ross said he supplied Jackson with free products, which he said were then distributed to players – including Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis. Ross also said he gave the spray to Cincinnati Bengals safety Roy Williams and two assistant NFL coaches, Anthony Lynn of the New York Jets and Jay Hayes of the Bengals.
“In April of '08 I gave various alternatives to steroids, including spray, to Hue Jackson at the Ravens’ training camp,” Ross said. “I also gave the spray to Jay Hayes of the Bengals and Anthony Lynn of the Jets. I want to prove that my protocol reverses the aging process on aging athletes and promotes the healing of injuries in a legal manner.”
The NFL has confirmed its order to Jackson.
“We have a long-standing policy that prohibits coaches from any relationship with a supplement company,” said NFL Director of Corporate Communications Brian McCarthy. “Coach Jackson is now in compliance.”