How far does the IGF-1 rabbit hole go? - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

How far does the IGF-1 rabbit hole go?

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Mitch Ross, owner of S.W.A.T.S., holds up some of his products at his store in Fultondale. (abc3340.com) Mitch Ross, owner of S.W.A.T.S., holds up some of his products at his store in Fultondale. (abc3340.com)
Performance-enhancing products sold by S.W.A.T.S. include deer antler spray, negatively charged water pills and hologram chips. (abc3340.com) Performance-enhancing products sold by S.W.A.T.S. include deer antler spray, negatively charged water pills and hologram chips. (abc3340.com)
FULTONDALE - AL -

Just how far does the rabbit hole go?

"Hawaii in '07, Missouri in '07, Alabama in '08," Mitch Ross said. "Alabama in '09, Auburn in 2010. Ole Miss used it against Alabama, LSU used it against Alabama and Georgia used it against Alabama."

According to Ross...it's deep.

"LSU [used it] in the game of the century," he said. "Alabama in the national championship in 2012."

Ross owns S.W.A.T.S., Sports with Alternatives to Steroids. He says his products are changing the face of sports.

"Big name players want to perform at a higher level," he said.

And he says he's the man to make that happen.

he has everything from performance chips, which allows athletes not to get tired, to a spray made from New Zealand deer antler velvet.

"It has thousands of nutrients in it," Ross said. "And two of them are IGF-1 and IGF-2."

In the NCAA, IGF-1 is a banned substance.

Ross says it's only illegal if it's synthetically enhanced. He says his spray is all natural. He applauds athletes for wanting to be better.

"They're in the right," he said. "They're doing it the right way."

But some college coaches don't seem to agree.

"We've received three letters from Alabama, a letter from LSU and a letter from Auburn saying 'Stay away from our players'," Ross said. "But [players] usually still call us."

Ross justifies it by saying it's no different than what universities serve the players.

"If they're serving steak at Alabama and milk at Alabama, they're serving synthetic growth hormones to their athletes," Ross said. "They're actually serving their athletes something that are banned, which they don't test for anyway."

Ross says his product is healthy and honest.

"Nothing about it is illegal," Ross said.

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