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.