Giants punter Steve Weatherford figures to have plenty of company in fighting back against allegations leveled yesterday by a controversial purveyor of a banned performance-enhancing drug used in deer-antler spray.

In a bizarre, hour-long "press conference" outside the Super Bowl XLVII media center, Mitch Ross included Weatherford among a long list of his clients he claims also include Brett Favre, Ray Lewis, Terrell Owens, recent BCS national championship teams at Auburn and Alabama, baseball players Johnny Damon and Carlos Pena and golfer Vijay Singh.

Ross, co-owner of an Alabama company called Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (S.W.A.T.S.) he admits distributes the spray, became public this week when Sport Illustrated revealed his claim to providing Lewis with the substance.

Deer-antler spray includes the substance IGH-1, which is banned by the NFL.

Weatherford angrily denied ever knowing or meeting Ross, adding he has contacted an attorney to rebut the "slanderous" accusations.

"I have never taken an illegal substance in my life," Weatherford wrote in an email.

Lewis also has steadfastly denied Ross' claims, prompting Ross to backtrack yesterday and say he never saw the Ravens' star linebacker use the spray. Ross also refused to provide text messages or shipping labels to back up his allegations in the Sports Illustrated story.

Ross even apologized to Lewis, saying he hopes Lewis will put the controversy behind him before playing in the game tomorrow.

"This whole story, this whole slander, was the tactics of the devil," Ross said. "I would say to Ray, 'Go win, don't let this affect you, and I'm so sorry.' "