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Hartmann explains his three-game suspension

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe is knocked down by Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann Reuters

Earlier this year, the NFL suspended Texans punter Brett Hartmann for four games, based on a violation of the league’s steroids policy.  The suspension has now been reduced to three games, and Hartmann has gone public with the reasons for the suspension and the eventual reduction.

Hartmann tells FOX 26 in Houston that he was suspended for taking Ritalin without approval — and that he now has approval to take Ritalin.

“I took something that was under the performance enhancing banned substance list,” Hartmann told Mark Berman of FOX 26.  “It was something for a medical condition that I didn’t have approval for from the NFL and now I currently have approval for it, so I can take it.”

The NFL ultimately cut Hartmann some slack, cutting on appeal the four-game ban to three.  But Hartmann still was deemed responsible for taking a banned substance without approval.

“It was just for ADD medicine, but now I have approval to take it from our doctors and the NFL doctors,” Hartmann said.  “I just made a mistake.  Should have got that approved before.  Just got to move on.  Serve the three-game suspension.”

It’s odd that the NFL gave Hartmann a break.  We’ve been led to believe for years that the league’s banned substances policy is a black-and-white proposition.  So either Hartmann has a valid excuse and he shouldn’t be suspended at all — or he has no excuse and he should be suspended for all four games.

Hartmann will be replaced during his suspension by veteran Donnie Jones.  In theory, Jones could do a good enough job to leave Hartmann with no job to come back to, making the suspension, as a practical matter, 16 games.

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7 Responses to “Hartmann explains his three-game suspension”
  1. blacknole08 says: May 22, 2012 7:07 PM

    The NFL should tune their drug policy concerning psycho-stimulant drugs to not include ADD medicine. Garrett Hartley got suspended four games a few years back just for taking adderral to help him drive a long distance. ADD medicine contains the ingredient methamphetamine, which is also found in substances such as cocaine. But some people really do need this; I’m ADD myself and take it twice a day, so I feel for Hartmann.

  2. txtuff says: May 22, 2012 7:10 PM

    The suspension came out last year even though this is the first time Heartman or anybody else talked about what drug it was for. But when the news came out last year the report was a 4 game suspension and the first game was the Texans last playoff game. So the NFL didn’t reduce the amount of games he has just already served one. That in itself also makes no sense because he was hurt at the end of last year but that is what they did.

  3. darthobama says: May 22, 2012 7:49 PM

    The suspension WAS NOT REDUCED…they just gave him counted one of the playoff games because it was at a higher rate of pay than a regular season game…pretty sure pft reported as much when the story first broke…

  4. realitypolice says: May 22, 2012 9:19 PM

    What’s odd is that a drug like Ritalin, which has no performance enhancing qualities and is safely and legally used by millions, is on the banned substances list in the first place.

  5. gsatt2112 says: May 22, 2012 10:52 PM

    WTF. “Hartmann will be replaced during his suspension by veteran Donnie Jones.  In theory, Jones could do a good enough job to leave Hartmann with no job to come back to, making the suspension, as a practical matter, 16 games.”. In theory, aliens could attack Earth prior to him serving the suspension, leaving Hartman with no job to come back to, making the suspension, as a practical matter, 16 games. Also with an alien race lording over all mankind how will the NFL be effected. Aliens may continue the league, speculate about possible implications that may happen with Peter King and Mike Florio or enslave the human race and harvest the earths resources for intergalactic conquest. Perhaps maybe this could be a possibility that I’ll contradict in an article in 2 1/2 weeks. Idk why I bother sometimes.

  6. CKL says: May 23, 2012 7:35 AM

    This is similar to Brandon Spikes’ situation (as far as was reported, that is), but he didn’t appeal I don’t think.

  7. convertedtexanfan says: May 23, 2012 9:11 AM

    Hats off to Hartmann for divulging this information, I am sure it has not been easy for him. My son takes Ritalin and he is so much less worried about what others think now that he knows an NFL player needs to take it too. Brett Hartmann is our new favorite player. Thanks for being a positive influence. Will be rooting for you and the Texans this season!

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