For the second day in a row, we have a story about an NFL player getting suspended for taking a “performance enhancing” substance that is most commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Yesterday it was Texans punter Brett Hartmann, who was suspended for taking Ritalin without approval. And today it’s Giants running back Andre Brown, who was suspended for taking Adderall without approval. Brown told CBS Sports that he is appealing.
“I don’t know what I can and cannot say,” Brown said. “It was something that I’ve been on since I’ve been in the league, which was Adderall. I just forgot to fill out some paperwork and that was it.”
In the case of Hartmann, the NFL agreed to reduce his suspension from four games to three. Brown is also hoping the NFL will knock a game or two off his four-game suspension.
“Hopefully when the appeal process goes through, I’ll be happy with any games [taken off the suspension],” he said. “I’d be fine with two.”
It’s strange that the NFL is open to reducing players’ suspensions in cases like Hartmann’s and Brown’s. The league has previously argued that its policy on performance-enhancing drugs contains a black-and-white ban on prohibited substance and allows for no shades of gray. Reducing a suspension from four games to three suggests that there is gray area.
Of course, it’s even more strange that the NFL’s PED policy lumps prescription medications for ADHD in with anabolic steroids.