Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who successfully appealed a four-game suspension last year after testing positive for Adderall, says the prescription drug is so commonly used among NFL players that the NFL ought to just accept it and take Adderall off the banned list.
Although Sherman argued during his appeal that the NFL’s drug tester made errors in collecting Sherman’s urine sample which nullified the test, he told the Vancouver Sun on Tuesday that the league really shouldn’t be testing for Adderall anyway.
“About half the league takes it [Adderall] and the league has to allow it,” Sherman said. “The league made a mistake in my case. Obviously, I didn’t do anything, but you have to go through a process to prove you didn’t do anything. There are still naysayers out there who don’t believe me. But I accept it. If everybody loves you, it probably means you’re not much of a player.”
Whether people believe Sherman or not, Adderall became one of the most-discussed issues in the NFL last year, as player after player blamed positive performance-enhancing drug tests on it. The NFL never confirms the substance that a player tests positive for, so it’s possible that some of those players were lying because they thought using a common prescription drug like Adderall would go over better with their fans than using other performance-enhancing substances.
NFL players are permitted to use Adderall only if they to through the necessary process to get a therapeutic use exemption, and the NFL says not many players are using substances that would otherwise be banned under such exemptions. So if Sherman is right that half the league is using Adderall, then the NFL’s drug testing procedures are seriously flawed, and the league is only catching a tiny percentage of the users.