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Is Adderall becoming the new excuse for steroids users?

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For an athlete caught using steroids, the four-game suspension is nothing compared to the scarlet “S” that gets applied to their permanent P.R. record.

The player never will be viewed the same way.  If he succeeds, cynics will say it’s because he’s using steroids.  If he becomes average or worse, the fact that he’s not using steroids any longer will be identified as the reason.

But since the league says nothing publicly about the reason for a suspension imposed under the NFL policy regarding anabolic steroids and related substances, the player who is suspended can say whatever he wants — and the league never will correct the record.

Previously, players popped for steroids blamed a spiked over-the-counter supplement.  Even if anyone ever bought that excuse, no one does anymore.

And so it could be that the new non-steroid alibi arises from Adderall, a prescription ADD medication.

Giants safety Tyler Sash blames his four-game suspension on Adderall.  Previously, Packers defensive end Mike Neal did the same thing.  Both claim they were using it with a prescription.

If they’re telling the truth (and we’re not saying they aren’t), why didn’t the NFL reduce or eliminate their suspensions?

Giants running back Andre Brown was using Adderall with a prescription but without advance approval from the league.  He tested positive, he appealed, and his suspension was lifted.  Ditto for Texans punter Brett Hartmann, whose four-game suspension was cut to three — and who now has approval to take Adderall.

If Neal and Sash are telling the truth, the NFL’s procedures seem to be horribly inconsistent.  (Then again, even if Neal and Sash aren’t telling the truth, the fact that Brown got no suspension and Hartmann received three games makes no sense.)

Either way, Adderall provides players with a convenient strategy for avoiding the stigma of steroids.  The fact that league can say nothing about the facts and circumstances surrounding the suspension allows the players to say whatever they want.

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33 Responses to “Is Adderall becoming the new excuse for steroids users?”
  1. ilovefoolsball says: Jul 31, 2012 6:39 PM

    Adderall is a prescription for ADHD. I can’t imagine what these NFL players have to do to deal with ADHD when it come to being in meetings and absorbing so much information.
    I know people who absolutely need it to lead a functional life.
    Some people do take it to abuse it to get more energy and focus but people abuse every drug INCLUDING ALCOHOL WHICH THE NFL DOESN’T BAN.

    I think there would still be 100 times more problems associated to alcohol than if the NFL made it ok to allow players to take adderall or mary jane for that matter.

  2. FinFan68 says: Jul 31, 2012 6:44 PM

    Why can’t the league challenge the supposed false statements without stating exactly what substance was detected?

    I can see how some of the conspiracy theorists would point to this and say that the league is inconsistent. In many ways, Goodell has been inconsistent but saying this is one of them seems biased. Nobody knows what circumstances led to any of the suspensions and/or reductions via appeal. What was detected? What was initially said. What was said on appeal. What inconsistencies exist? Etc.

    BTW, the judge, jury, executioner mantra is contradicted in this article. The fact that there have been reductions shows that he is at least receptive to listening to what the players have to say…believing them is another matter entirely.

  3. treyanastasio says: Jul 31, 2012 6:45 PM

    The majority of Adderall users don’t really need it. All it tells me about an NFL player is that he most likely did what many college students (and parents) do which is say they can’t concentrate and POOF here’s your prescription amphetamines to immediately raise your grades. Such a crock of bs. Hell of a drug, though.

  4. blacknole08 says: Jul 31, 2012 6:48 PM

    I find this article insulting to those with ADD and really don’t see any correlation between ADD medication and steroids. Many athletes actually do have ADD and use ADD medicine. So to suggest that it is an excuse to cover up steroid usage is irresponsible and demeaning to those people.

    The only similarities would be lose of appetite and insomnia, and possible mental instability, especially if adderall is abused (similar to roid rage).

  5. geeeeemen says: Jul 31, 2012 6:49 PM

    For Giants fans who follow the team closely, they know Sash would not take actual steroids. He’s not the kind of guy. I believe it was, in fact, Adderall.

  6. warhammer420 says: Jul 31, 2012 6:52 PM

    This is so silly. Lot’s of NFL players use steroids. It’s good for the game. We want bigger, stronger, faster.

  7. xsorethumbx says: Jul 31, 2012 6:54 PM

    i have such crazy ADD, i am doing the “Lights Out ” dance while reading this article

  8. Stiller43 says: Jul 31, 2012 7:04 PM

    Steelers TE Wesley Saunders also claims what he tested for was aderall. He says he’s awaiting word on his appeal.

  9. iced107 says: Jul 31, 2012 7:06 PM

    As someone with ADD/ADHD, adderall or different perscriptions may be necessary. Welbutrin was one I took for school and the like.

    It certainly allows you to focus more; so if they legitimately need it, there shouldn’t be any suspensions. It’s not anything like HGH hormone or some kind of illegal substance

  10. ajpurp says: Jul 31, 2012 7:09 PM

    Actually I have ADD, and badly, and was prescribed Ritalin when I was 8 years old. It doesn’t have the same effects on those with ADD as those without, I became like a zombie and because of that never took any medication again after age 11. Those without ADD become pumped and ultra energetic, you can tell the difference as throughout college It was taken often by friends, it never did a thing for me except make me want to sleep. The hormones in the brain are balanced differently, so it has different effects. The point remains, as I have very bad ADD, you don’t need it to do well and can get good grades just fine without it, it is an excuse, a big one, but ADD isn’t made up either, just substantially overstated

  11. voiceofreason says: Jul 31, 2012 7:28 PM

    Sounds like a loophole to be fixed in the next CBA…unless the government sticks their noses in first. (with their agendas($$))

  12. zaggs says: Jul 31, 2012 7:30 PM

    If Sash was taking steroids, why was he taking them in March? Season was already over and even the Giants rookie (aka the earliest offseason program) camp didnt start til May.

  13. chi01town says: Jul 31, 2012 7:32 PM

    If I was lucky enough to be an NFL FOOTBALL PLAYER I wouldnt take a Asprin with out clearing it with the league FIRST. The money players lose is bad but what the other teams think about you is worse. It follows you to the field when you get back. You dont make a play an you were never that good…. You make a play an your still juiced up

  14. sschmiggles says: Jul 31, 2012 7:41 PM

    treyanastasio says:
    Jul 31, 2012 6:45 PM
    The majority of Adderall users don’t really need it.
    ____________________

    Says who? If you have a prescription, then you’ve met with a psychiatrist.

    The college kids buy it illegally.

  15. stuter00 says: Jul 31, 2012 8:03 PM

    Mike Florio needed to do his homework before posting this. Adderall is an amphetamine, steroids are synthetic testosterone. Some professional athletes need adderall for ADD/ADHD, but a good bit of them are on greenies, etc for extra pick-me-up. But, you can’t mask a steroid with an amphetamine. They show up completely different in a drug test. If a player is on steroids, it’s impossible he/she could successfully blame it on adderall.

  16. mike5011ad says: Jul 31, 2012 8:03 PM

    It is not true that they reduced Hartmann’s suspension. The NFLPA challenged the NFL that they should count the playoff game after he tested positive towards the suspension. It is still a four game suspension, but he has already served one game.

  17. houstontexans99 says: Jul 31, 2012 8:03 PM

    I’m surprised football players can use adderall. I am prescribed vyvanse which is basically the same thing, and I can’t do intense exercise in the heat without my heart rate skyrocketing. Seems dangerous for guys whose job is intense activity

  18. onepointtwentyonegigawatt says: Jul 31, 2012 8:28 PM

    Brian Hartmann was approved to take Ritalin, not Adderall. Small difference, but still a different drug.

  19. txtuff says: Jul 31, 2012 8:44 PM

    Hartmann got 4 games and it has never changed! PFT keeps getting this wrong! The NFL counted the Ravens lose in the playoffs as the first game so now he only has 3 left. Don’t know why they did it like that (Hartmann was hurt for that game) but they did. My only guess is the week before that game is when he lost his final appeal.

  20. normdogg says: Jul 31, 2012 9:24 PM

    Comparing Adderall and Anabolic Steroids is like comparing apples and ground beef.

  21. iwantrudytodressforme says: Jul 31, 2012 9:35 PM

    stuter00 says:
    Jul 31, 2012 8:03 PM
    Mike Florio needed to do his homework before posting this. Adderall is an amphetamine, steroids are synthetic testosterone. Some professional athletes need adderall for ADD/ADHD, but a good bit of them are on greenies, etc for extra pick-me-up. But, you can’t mask a steroid with an amphetamine. They show up completely different in a drug test. If a player is on steroids, it’s impossible he/she could successfully blame it on adderall.

     ——————————————————————————
    Wow some people really miss the point don’t they? Folks, this article isn’t saying the athletes are telling the nfl “oh no that’s not steroids, I use adderall.” When their test comes back hot. The article is stating that since the NFL doesn’t release the reasons of suspension (the particular drug) to the public. They just say “drig suspension” and that’s that. So, players can say whatever they want in the media to save face. The NFL knows what drugs are in their system. But if a player tells the reporters ” nah man, I was suspended for adderall” the NFL isn’t going to come out and say “Nuh uh! It was steroids.” They’re cool like that.

    Clear enough for you or do you still think Florio needs to do his homework.? Sheesh.

    Also, this is not an article about whether some athletes do or don’t legitimately need it, or a slap in the face to ADD sufferers or anything like that. It’s about some ‘roided up dudes having a new lie to tell to the media.

  22. rajbais says: Jul 31, 2012 10:20 PM

    Adderall is better off being used to study playbooks. Just go ask today’s college students. That is why very few will believe the Adderall excuse.

  23. ghostofgilchrist says: Jul 31, 2012 10:29 PM

    This is just crazy, I think…..
    …wait…what were we talking about?

  24. icdogg says: Jul 31, 2012 10:49 PM

    My wife has an Adderall prescription for her ADD. I took one and I was practically flying, it pumped my heart up that hard. Doesn’t do that to my wife, she just calms down and goes to sleep.

  25. mallen76 says: Jul 31, 2012 10:52 PM

    I don’t know what the NFL rules state but the NCAA changed the procedure several years ago regarding ADD/ADHD medication. An athlete that is taking a drug for that diagnosis must have specific paperwork and tests done by a pyschologist showing that the prescription for Adderall, Vyvanse, etc. is for legitimate use. They changed after it became apparent that athletes were using for PE purposes and physicians weren’t performing the accepted medical community protocols for diagnosis. If you are tested and have a positive test, you submit the paperwork that must be on file with the college or university. If positive test is not from legitimate use or didn’t have the proper testing, NCAA suspends you.

  26. hyzers says: Jul 31, 2012 11:05 PM

    Some people do take it to abuse it to get more energy and focus but people abuse every drug INCLUDING ALCOHOL WHICH THE NFL DOESN’T BAN.

    I think there would still be 100 times more problems associated to alcohol than if the NFL made it ok to allow players to take adderall or mary jane for that matter.

    ——————————————-

    One drug is an upper: increases speed and focus in those who don’t really need it. The other two drugs are downers and do not enhance athletic performance. One of these drugs is not like the others.

  27. beatrixkiddo27 says: Jul 31, 2012 11:10 PM

    Stuter00 –

    Are you serious dude/dudette? Did you even bother to read the article
    before trying to impress us folk with your extensive knowledge of drug classes and differences between drugs? I’m guessing you didn’t bother with the body of the article and simply read the title and “byline” and decided you needed to show someone up. Well, it kind of backfired on you.

    Florio says nothing about and insinuates nothing with respect to athletes trying to use amps (in this case adderall) in an attempt to mask their use of steroids.

    The premise of Florio’s article is that with the rules governing what the league can and can’t say regarding any failed drug test, that athletes can take to the media and make up any story they want to explain their failed test and subsequent suspension.

    So, you see? He’s not saying that the league is suspending athletes who test positive on a drug test for adderall (or other amps) because the league claims such drugs (amps) serve to mask steroid use. He is also NOT saying that the league is suspending players who test positive for amps because amps trigger a positive steroid result.

    He is saying, that because recent athletes who have been found to have failed a drug test are claiming that they failed for adderall, that this pattern could indicate a new way for athletes to avoid the stigma involved in publicly failing a drug test. And these athletes can do this because the NFL can NOT refute anything these athletes say regarding for which substances they failed the test for. Because of the newly-negotiated CBA. (score one for De Smith)

  28. DCBlueStar says: Jul 31, 2012 11:35 PM

    Weslye Saunders did the same thing.

  29. mwindle1973 says: Aug 1, 2012 1:21 AM

    One interesting thing I find about this article is the NFL’s silence on this issue. They are forced per the CBA to not produce evidence to the public. Even to correct lies by players. But they are being criticized for not releasing enough bounty scandal evidence to the public. And they are being criticized for having the advantage in the CBA on the issue of player discipline. With Goodell often deciding appeals too. But see it’s a give and take. When they negotiate they make trade offs to get the most important things each side wants. The NFL surely doesn’t like having to be silent on banned substance suspensions. And they certainly don’t like the NFLPA hiding behind the CBA on HGH testing either. But they have to deal with it. And nobody is crying afoul. Florio is exposing a very important truth here about the players & NFLPA hiding behind the CBA to deal out lies to the public in some instances. The real issue here though is we are locked in to these lopsided rules and procedures for the next 10 years. Only by joint agreement could the owners & NFLPA amend or change the CBA at this point. That’s not likely.

  30. axespray says: Aug 1, 2012 4:17 AM

    still doubt Neal was on ‘roids… now if he were being accused of using the Predator’s cloaking device, then I’d completely agree with you.

  31. pftbillsfan says: Aug 1, 2012 6:02 AM

    No one is buying it? It’s not a matter of believing it, their is incredible factual evidence and common sense to back it up. First, supplements need to be effective to work in order to sell consistently. What better way to ensure something works than to tamper with it. Second, google well known supplement companies and basically every one of them has been fined for having anabolic steroids “sprinkled” in.

  32. 15to12 says: Aug 1, 2012 11:55 AM

    What a joke. How about we drug test our law enforcement first??? Not the kind where the union warns them ahead of time. Lots of barrel chested police with no muscle definition an man boobs out there. Not to mention the sweating and anger management issues.

    I’m guessing the role model factor for children is pretty high with police officers too.

  33. cobrala2 says: Aug 1, 2012 4:30 PM

    If you don’t know what Adderall IS, and understand how it artificially improves focus, and how that is therefore an artificial improvement of one’s skill, you simply cannot understand what cheating is.

    HGH can be prescribed too.

    I think only the ignorant are fooled by such smoke screens. I’m not concerned.

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