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Mike Neal questions why NFL suspended him for using Adderall

Howard Green, Mike Neal AP

Packers defensive end Mike Neal says his four-game suspension was for using a common prescription medication for attention deficit disorder, and he doesn’t understand why the NFL is giving him the same suspension he would get if he had used used anabolic steroids.

It was Adderall,” Neal told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I’m not ashamed to say it. If I would have known, I wouldn’t have had this problem. We’re going through everything right now to get my prescription finalized with the NFL. . . . I’ve never took any steroids. I haven’t done any HGH. It was an Adderall situation and that’s unfortunate. . . . If you look at Adderall, are you going to come in here and run faster, jump higher, are you going to block some passes, are you going to sack the quarterback? So in my eyes, I didn’t do anything wrong. I just went and sought help that I thought I needed. . . . As far as I’m concerned, if you consider Adderall a performance-enhancing drug then I think a lot of people would be fired from their jobs because a lot of people take it.”

The NFL doesn’t comment on the specifics of suspensions under the performance-enhancing drug policy, so we haven’t heard the league’s side of the story. Many sports organizations consider Adderall to be a banned stimulant but allow athletes to use it if they have a documented medical need for it. That is apparently what Neal was referring to when he said in March that he was suspended for a technicality: Neal’s side of the story is that he had a valid prescription for Adderall, but that he didn’t know the proper procedures for getting an exemption from the league office.

Giants running back Andre Brown said last week that his own four-game suspension for using Adderall was lifted on appeal. Neal said he’s hoping to win an appeal as well, and hoping that he’ll be on the field for Week One.

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54 Responses to “Mike Neal questions why NFL suspended him for using Adderall”
  1. skoobyfl says: Jun 5, 2012 8:19 PM

    Why would someone getting help be denied a job?

  2. souldogdave says: Jun 5, 2012 8:21 PM

    Adderall was outlawed in Canada for use in children. It is a combination of three different amphetamines. So I see why it could trigger a test. Nasty stuff, switch meds.

  3. thenewenglandpatriots12 says: Jun 5, 2012 8:24 PM

    I’m on that sh*t right now my dude!

  4. treesloth16 says: Jun 5, 2012 8:25 PM

    I know why: Because Goodell is on the board of directors for companies making Ritalin (the other drug for ADHD), and wants to use NFL players as advertising agents for his products.

    Just kidding. But very plausible, given how underhanded and deceitful Goodell is.

  5. dobberdubinsky says: Jun 5, 2012 8:29 PM

    Sounds a lot like the Williams Wall situation, the players ultimately have to be responsible to know what your allowed to put in your body and what your not……..he should be suspended.

  6. drewbreeswants says: Jun 5, 2012 8:30 PM

    Drew Brees wants an explanation

  7. tomservo24 says: Jun 5, 2012 8:33 PM

    Adderall is amphetemene salts. It’s not too crazy to suggest that his performance could benefit from it, especially since he’s such a huge guy he probably takes a fairly large dose.

    Like the article suggests, though, it will likely get overturned if he has a valid prescription.

  8. lunarpie says: Jun 5, 2012 8:33 PM

    Maybe its because adderall is a federally controlled substance and oh yeh, its really a prescription for methanphetamine.

  9. paulycoasters says: Jun 5, 2012 8:35 PM

    Becaus were/are using it without a prescription, that’s why.

  10. ningenito78 says: Jun 5, 2012 8:40 PM

    How the hell is it possible in this day and age for any NFL player to go to his doctor and nobody knows Adderal is considered an amphetamine?

  11. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 5, 2012 8:41 PM

    Adderall is on the banned substance list, but these guys just don’t pay attention.

  12. chris6523 says: Jun 5, 2012 8:49 PM

    Neal said he’s hoping to win an appeal as well, and hoping that he’ll be on the field for Week One.

    _________________________________

    He needs to overcome more than a suspension for using Adderall to be on the field for Week One.

  13. allnightdwight says: Jun 5, 2012 8:51 PM

    Adderall is speed…the epitome of a performance enhancing drug.

  14. buffaloniner says: Jun 5, 2012 8:52 PM

    “Maybe its because adderall is a federally controlled substance and oh yeh, its really a prescription for methanphetamine”

    ______________

    Actually its just an amphetamine, not a methamphetamine, but I’m splitting hairs here.

    Honestly, in large quantities Adderall really is close to legally prescribed synthetic cocaine. If you’ve had experience with both drugs you know what I’m talking about.

    The things is, when it’s taken in small dosages and not abused it is a very helpful medication for a lot of people. It may be a little bit of a grey area but the keys words here are “legal” and “prescribed”. If he actually needs it just leave the guy alone.

  15. jimboonie says: Jun 5, 2012 9:02 PM

    Adderall is amphetamine. If he doesn’t know that it’s banned in the NFL he is an idiot.

  16. sabatimus says: Jun 5, 2012 9:04 PM

    I didn’t know you COULD get an exemption for something like this. At least the procedures are in place for it.

  17. sabatimus says: Jun 5, 2012 9:05 PM

    “skoobyfl says:
    Jun 5, 2012 8:19 PM
    Why would someone getting help be denied a job?”

    Welcome to America.

  18. mthead55 says: Jun 5, 2012 9:08 PM

    thegreatgabbert | Jun 5, 2012, 7:41 PM CDT
    Adderall is on the banned substance list, but these guys just don’t pay attention.

    Duh…that’s why he is taking Adderall (of course, if you were making a joke that was pretty funny)

  19. nomad57 says: Jun 5, 2012 9:09 PM

    Keep in mind that Adderall generally works differently for people with ADHD, i.e., not as “speed”. Also, why are illegal (for the most part) steroids and prescribed medications punished the same? That seems flawed.

  20. truthfactory says: Jun 5, 2012 9:29 PM

    He may have a prescription, but it still needs to be cleared by the league to use… Per the CBA

  21. johanneschimpo says: Jun 5, 2012 9:35 PM

    skoobyfl says: Jun 5, 2012 8:19 PM

    Why would someone getting help be denied a job?
    ————–
    Who has ever been helped by Adderall???

    ADD and ADHD are made-up.

  22. citizenstrange says: Jun 5, 2012 9:37 PM

    If only there was someone whose job was to look out for the player’s best interest and make adult decisions based on researching and keeping up on things that could affect the player’s salary that the player maybe either doesn’t know about or just flat out doesn’t understand ….. And maybe take a percentage of the player’s salary for doing so.

    Almost like some sort of “agent” or something.

    Next question.

  23. bla bla bla says: Jun 5, 2012 9:42 PM

    When most of you try to sound clever, you just end up sounding like chimpanzees (my apologies to any chimps that may read this).

    Just stick to topics about which you have at least some real-world knowledge, such as level 92 nerd-dom in whatever video game you currently embrace as a substitute for a real life.

    Or perhaps “the great lotion dilemma” as applies to your compulsive self-abuse. Maybe even delve into zit medications: what works, and what serves only to lighten mom’s wallet.

    But really… pharmacology is best left to those that no longer live in the basement.

  24. thejuddstir says: Jun 5, 2012 9:44 PM

    Bottom line is that any drug is in effect a performance enhancing drug. Adderall enhances a person’s ability to comprehend and think. Those dudes who were suspended for taking dietary drugs, the Vikings and Taints players, were taking a legal and prescribed drug. The point is, these players did not inform the NFL of their need for the drug ahead of time. Suspension should hold under current NFL rules. Anyone could get a doctor to “backdate” a prescription, etc…….follow the rules Neal and you won’t get into trouble.

  25. mattjay0101 says: Jun 5, 2012 9:48 PM

    I was prescribed Adderall few years ago to combat a problem with ADHD.

    The reason this stuff is on the banned list is because its super addictive and has a wide range of side effects, some effect could be very dangerous to an athlete.

    I stopped using it after I gradually over lost 20lbs and began having boner problems, not to mention chronic armpit sweat and trouble sleeping …….bottomline is that its nasty stuff.

  26. minnysoda says: Jun 5, 2012 10:13 PM

    paulycoasters says:
    Jun 5, 2012 8:35 PM
    Becaus were/are using it without a prescription, that’s why.

    Dear Mr. Dumas
    He does have a prescription He didn’t follow the procedures that the NFL requires for using the drug that’s why he is appealing

  27. minnysoda says: Jun 5, 2012 10:16 PM

    thegreatgabbert says:
    Jun 5, 2012 8:41 PM
    Adderall is on the banned substance list, but these guys just don’t pay attention.

    Can’t you morons read the article The NFL has already lifted a ban for the use of this drug.

    Giants running back Andre Brown said last week that his own four-game suspension for using Adderall was lifted on appeal.

  28. lunarpie says: Jun 5, 2012 10:22 PM

    I’m on adderall and it has changed my life in positive ways. It is a performance enhancing drug though! It is federally controlled and its composition is very similar to its evil cousin methamphetamine. Doctors even tell patients how it is a major cause of heart failure/disease. This guy doesn’t need this medication. He’s a football player and the effects of adderall on his heart could lead to a tragedy on the field. I totally agree with the suspension. Besides, what does it take to get a prescription for adderall. A simple doctors visit will!

  29. censoredpost says: Jun 5, 2012 10:23 PM

    My 9 yr old son is on adderall for ADHD. The only effect he will get from it is enhanced concentration. A “normal” person taking it would get a benefit. But considering his starting point he is being brought to a “normal” state of clarity and concentration. It overloads an already full steaming ahead system so you can slow down enough to think. It does have the effect of causing loss of appetite, but I doubt that helps him much.

  30. sonnyboychris says: Jun 5, 2012 10:28 PM

    The level of ignorance in the comments section never ceases to amaze. Morons.

  31. uwsptke says: Jun 5, 2012 10:30 PM

    dobberdubinsky says:
    Jun 5, 2012 8:29 PM
    Sounds a lot like the Williams Wall situation, the players ultimately have to be responsible to know what your allowed to put in your body and what your not……..he should be suspended.

    Yes, it’s exactly like the Williams Wall situation. Except they were taking a banned diuretic to mask their steroid use whereas Neal was taking a prescription drug for a diagnosed attention deficit disorder.

  32. rgledz says: Jun 5, 2012 10:33 PM

    He figures that he’s a Packer and he should be able to get away with things that other teams can’t. Like selling “stock” to improve the stadium or doing the Lambeau Leap while other teams get penalized for “pre planned celebrations”. Cut him some slack NFL!

  33. polishkingski says: Jun 5, 2012 10:48 PM

    c`mon man lets not be naive, adderall is some straight up kick ass speed. can it help you at this level? i say yes. god knows i have done some very strange things while using. the previous poster was correct, its kinda like cocaine but lasts longer.

  34. profootballwalk says: Jun 5, 2012 10:51 PM

    Ignorance is no excuse – it’s a legal principle. Players know there is a list of banned substances. It is there responsibility to know whether ANY drug is on the list or not.

  35. aljack88 says: Jun 5, 2012 10:58 PM

    souldogdave says:
    Jun 5, 2012 8:21 PM
    Adderall was outlawed in Canada for use in children. It is a combination of three different amphetamines. So I see why it could trigger a test. Nasty stuff, switch meds.
    —————————————————————
    wee bit of a difference between a child and a 300 lb adult football player. Taken in prescribed 10mg doses, there’s nothing “nasty” to it.

    Amazing the comments that come from people who have no idea; just like when the Andre Brown news came out.

  36. devrick says: Jun 5, 2012 11:55 PM

    Okay, if you’re an NFL player and the drug you’re prescribed is on the banned substances list, don’t take it. Ask your doctor for an alternative. If there’s no alternative, talk to somebody in the league office, and see what you have to do to get an exemption so you can take the medication that you need.

    That doesn’t sound very hard to understand. I feel for this guy, because I know the stigma attached to these sorts of medications, but really. You’re a professional athlete. Your livelihood depends on you not putting banned substances into your body. Just do your homework and follow the process.

  37. hyzers says: Jun 5, 2012 11:55 PM

    Funny thing my college trainer pointed out a couple years ago when I played…

    The athletes at my school were prescribed ADD/ADHD medicine at twice the rate as the regular population. lol and I sure as hell never forgot my assignments!

  38. noahbird says: Jun 6, 2012 12:35 AM

    Adderrall gives you energy, suppresses appetite, and generally makes you focus, so my simpleton opinion says it is performance enhancing.

  39. coolzog says: Jun 6, 2012 12:40 AM

    “Adderall was outlawed in Canada for use in children. It is a combination of three different amphetamines. So I see why it could trigger a test. Nasty stuff, switch meds.”

    Considering it’s still on the Canadian market, you have no idea what you’re talking about: http://webprod3.hc-sc.gc.ca/dpd-bdpp/dispatch-repartition.do?lang=eng

    And to the people who are saying it’s similar to methamphetamine, you have no idea what you’re talking about. That’s like saying Immodium or even codeine (loperamide) is “similar” to heroin just because they’re structurally similar and act on some of the same receptors. Methamphetamine is hundreds to thousands of times more addictive. Learn some pharmacology/pharmacokinetics before pretending to be an expert.

    That being said, it would improve your performance more than StarCaps (with bumetanide) would…

  40. coolzog says: Jun 6, 2012 12:48 AM

    Sorry the link on the last comment isn’t working, here is the product monograph for anyone who may be interested:

    http://webprod3.hc-sc.gc.ca/dpd-bdpp/info.do?lang=eng&code=73178

  41. wheezerswin says: Jun 6, 2012 1:09 AM

    It’s all irrelevant. Every year he misses time due to some stupid injury. The last one was a bruised vagina. Out for the year. Neal=bust

  42. matthewcarlson1 says: Jun 6, 2012 1:45 AM

    If he has a prescription theres no problem here. For people who don’t need it, Adderall is a huge help in anything you do. He would have more energy and be able to think more clearly.

  43. phillyahole says: Jun 6, 2012 3:43 AM

    Increased focus, strength, fat loss, stick to the script dude.

  44. redwingfan1234 says: Jun 6, 2012 6:59 AM

    Adderall gives most people incredible levels of concentration AND increased physical abilities at the expense of being in a permanent hazy, ‘everything’s ok’ cloud. And it is INCREDIBLY hard to kick once you’ve been on it for long enough. I had the misfortune of taking it for 8 years (middle school through part of college) and lost a solid six months of my life readjusting to the world without it. Not everything that’s prescribed by a doctor is ok to take. I’d highly recommend that all of the sheep that mass thumbs-downed many of the above comments do some of their own research.

  45. jimyritz says: Jun 6, 2012 7:03 AM

    Haven’t these guys learned anything. Tell the League the first and then take the medication.

    Don’t assume anything…

  46. pleazenufalready says: Jun 6, 2012 7:45 AM

    uwsptke says: Jun 5, 2012 10:30 PM

    dobberdubinsky says:
    Jun 5, 2012 8:29 PM
    Sounds a lot like the Williams Wall situation, the players ultimately have to be responsible to know what your allowed to put in your body and what your not……..he should be suspended.

    Yes, it’s exactly like the Williams Wall situation. Except they were taking a banned diuretic to mask their steroid use whereas Neal was taking a prescription drug for a diagnosed attention deficit disorder.

    —————————————————

    Before you label people as steriod takers, get your facts straight! Neither of the Williams had enough of the diuretic in their system to be used as a mask for steriods. Though,I wouldn’t expect a packer fan to care about a minor thing like checking the facts first.

  47. 2ndaryinsanity says: Jun 6, 2012 8:13 AM

    It’s pretty simple, big guy…you didn’t follow the rules.

  48. rpiotr01 says: Jun 6, 2012 9:49 AM

    The league doesn’t see shades of grey. They have rules and you’re supposed to follow them. In return, you get to play the game you love, make excellent money, with the possibility of making millions and achieving fame beyond your wildest dreams.

    Should the league be more lenient and understanding? IMO, yes. But that’s not the way it is.

  49. tlaw21 says: Jun 6, 2012 9:54 AM

    johanneschimpo says:Jun 5, 2012 9:35 PM

    skoobyfl says: Jun 5, 2012 8:19 PM

    Why would someone getting help be denied a job?
    ————–
    Who has ever been helped by Adderall???

    ADD and ADHD are made-up.
    _______________________

    Typical response from somebody that’s never been affected by this disease.

  50. CKL says: Jun 6, 2012 11:55 AM

    Hmmm…all these guys had scrips and got it overturned. Spikes was suspended for the same reason and didn’t appeal. As a Pats fan, I gotta wonder what’s up with that. Maybe BB told him not to appeal, or maybe the suspension was legit.

  51. aljack88 says: Jun 6, 2012 12:45 PM

    mattjay0101 says:
    Jun 5, 2012 9:48 PM
    I was prescribed Adderall few years ago to combat a problem with ADHD.

    The reason this stuff is on the banned list is because its super addictive and has a wide range of side effects, some effect could be very dangerous to an athlete.

    I stopped using it after I gradually over lost 20lbs and began having boner problems, not to mention chronic armpit sweat and trouble sleeping …….bottomline is that its nasty stuff.
    ————————————————————–

    I’ve been prescribed adderall for the past 20+ years to help combat the effects of MS, along with some other medications. I have never had any of your side effects. I have heard of some cases where people may have trouble sleeping, but those few were when they first started taking it or they were having other issues.

    Like most things we ingest, if you take more than you should, it can lead to some problems. Drink 20-30 cups of coffee each day and see where that leads you.

  52. axespray says: Jun 6, 2012 3:27 PM

    pleazenufalready says:Jun 6, 2012 7:45 AM
    “Before you label people as steriod takers, get your facts straight! Neither of the Williams had enough of the diuretic in their system to be used as a mask for steriods. Though,I wouldn’t expect a packer fan to care about a minor thing like checking the facts first.”

    totally nothing fishy about two all pro players using the starcaps and becoming mediocore players afterwards.

  53. dwhitehurst says: Jun 6, 2012 5:38 PM

    You would think that if it were doctor prescribed for a learning disability and/or ADD/ADHD, the NFL would accept it as long as it was shared with them by the player. For sure, amphetamines like “can” be performance enhancing, but that all depends on the person and the dosage amount. As long as the player has a legitimate disorder, I would think the NFL should work with the player.

  54. patsaintsbroncoscheat says: Jun 7, 2012 11:02 PM

    dobberdubinsky says: Jun 5, 2012 8:29 PM

    Sounds a lot like the Williams Wall situation, the players ultimately have to be responsible to know what your allowed to put in your body and what your not……..he should be suspended.
    _______________
    Big difference between fat pills and ADHD pills. The Williams wall needed fat pills to be effective pass rushers. Neal doesn’t need it to increase his performance. Anyone who thinks ADHD is not real has not been around kids. They all need to be medicated before I can stand them.

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