Lewis ‘agitated’ — Smiling, even laughing, at questions about a report linking him to a company that purports to make performance-enhancers, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said Wednesday he “never, ever took" the stuff. Lewis described himself as “agitated," not angry, that the story has become part of the Super Bowl-week prelude to Baltimore’s game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. He added that he’s certain his teammates won’t be distracted by the report in Sports Illustrated. The magazine said Lewis sought help from a company that says its deer-antler spray and pills contain a banned product connected to human growth hormone. The 37-year-old Lewis is the leading tackler in the NFL postseason after returning from a torn right triceps that sidelined him for 10 games.
49er apologizes — San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Wednesday night for anti-gay remarks he made during a Super Bowl media day interview a day earlier. “The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel," he said in a statement released by the team. “It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience." During an interview Tuesday at the Superdome, Culliver responded to questions from comedian Artie Lange by saying he wouldn’t welcome a gay player in the locker room. He also said the 49ers didn’t have any homosexual players and, if they did, those players should leave.
Judge tosses fan suit — A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a class-action lawsuit that a New Orleans Saints season-ticket holder filed against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over the league’s bounty investigation. The suit claimed the NFL’s sanctions against the team over its alleged system of offering cash bonuses to Saints players for big hits punished season ticket holders more than anyone else and sought more than $5 million in damages. U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan rejected the notion that Saints ticket holders were the only ones who could have experienced “mental suffering" from the team’s disappointing 7-9 record this season.
Seattle LB arrested — Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill was arrested after police say he assaulted his girlfriend and kept her in his home against her will. According to a release from the Issaquah Police Department on Wednesday morning, Hill was arrested on investigation of unlawful imprisonment-domestic violence and third-degree assault-domestic violence. According to King County Jail records, Hill was booked into the Seattle correctional facility early Wednesday afternoon. Both charges are felonies in Washington state. It’s at least the fourth time Hill, 30, has been arrested and the second time he’s been accused of domestic violence.
Blazers’ Lillard picked —Kyrie Irving, the MVP of last year’s Rising Stars Challenge, will return to the game featuring top rookies and second-year players. The Cleveland All-Star was one of 18 players chosen Wednesday for the Feb. 15 game in Houston. Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will again serve as general managers and draft teams during TNT’s pregame show Feb. 7. Rookie stars Damian Lillard of Portland and Anthony Davis of New Orleans, the No. 1 pick in the draft, also were selected.
Frank Schleck to miss Tour — Cyclist Frank Schleck was suspended for a year Wednesday and will miss the Tour de France for using a banned substance on last year’s Tour. Luxembourg anti-doping authorities backdated the suspension, sidelining Schleck until July 14 when the Tour enters its last week. Schleck, who finished third in the 2011 Tour, dropped out of the race last year after testing positive for the diuretic Xipamide. Schleck was facing up to a two-year suspension, but the Luxembourg anti-doping authorities shied away from that. Schleck, the brother of 2010 winner Andy Schleck, won alpine stages in the 2006 and 2009 Tours.
— From wire reports