Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Football: Tide players were offered banned substance before 2012 BCS National Championship


According to a Sports Illustrated story released Tuesday, a “handful” of Alabama players are among several athletes reported to have used athletic supplements from S.W.A.T.S. (Sports with Alternatives to Steroids).

S.W.A.T.S. is a two-man team operation based out of Fultondale, Ala. run by Christopher Key and Mitch Ross. The company provides an assortment of products that they claim gives an athlete a fair, competitive edge.

Two nights before the 2012 BCS national championship game vs. LSU, Key invited the players to his hotel room at the New Orleans Marriott to give a pitch on his company’s products. Quinton Dial and Alex Watkins were two players mentioned to have been in attendance.

As the story notes:

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 2010 Senior Bowl. (The charges were dropped, but he was banned from the hotel for life.)

Key demonstrated to the players the effects of holographic stickers called “chips” that are placed on the wrists and heart to provide them with an energy boost. He told the players they wouldn’t tire in the fourth quarter with them on.

He then showed of his other two products – “negatively charged” water and deer-antler spray – the latter of which reportedly containing IGF-1, a banned substance throughout professional sports and in the NCAA.

According to the article, UA officials have sent two cease and desist letters to the individuals.

Elite athletes are constantly having demands made upon their time, and hucksters hoping to make money off their names are all over the place. Fending off these so-called entrepreneurs is a full time job for compliance officials.

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