Pretty soon, we’ll be calling it the “Adderall Alibi.” On second thought, that sounds pretty good, so we’ll go with it.
Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden is reportedly the latest NFL player to go with the “Adderall Alibi” when word leaked that he is set to be suspended four games for testing positive for the banned substance.
There has been no suspension announced by the NFL because the reports from media outlets in Cleveland indicate that Haden was recently informed of the test result and has the right to appeal.
Subsequently, www.profootballtalk.com reported that a league source said “the locker-room scuttlebutt” is that Haden used the drug “as a pick-me-up during an offseason visit to Las Vegas.”
Several other players suspended have said they used Adderall with a prescription and Giants running back Andre Brown had a suspension overturned after appealing.
The bottom line is that players can be cleared to take the medication when it is legitimately prescribed as long as they inform their team and the league is informed.
However, what’s also troubling is the belief by www.profootballtalk.com that “offseason use of Adderall or any other stimulant” shouldn’t be banned. Mike Florio wrote, “It can’t enhance performance if there’s no performance to enhance, and it’s not the kind of substance that helps a player artificially build muscle mass in anticipation of future performance.”
The reality is that Adderall is an amphetamine, a substance also banned by major league baseball. While alone it doesn’t build muscle mass, it can be used in the offseason to help players work out harder and focus better. That obviously can enhance performance, whether it be for the offseason conditioning program or for OTAs and minicamps.
An amphetamine is an amphetamine and is a banned substance. For the NFL to only have it be illegal during the season would be ludicrous.
Speaking of the Browns …
There are those in Cleveland who have wondered whether eventual new owner Jim Haslam has had second thoughts about his $1 billion purchase. Since he reached agreement to buy the team (he won’t actually become the owner until the league approves the sale and the transaction closes), rookie running back Trent Richardson had knee surgery, linebacker Chris Gocong suffered a torn ASchilles and is lost for the season and word came of Haden’s suspension.
Haslam appears unfazed, which of course is the way you have to be to be a good owner.
“I think that’s part of football,” he said to local media. “You’re going to have some bad breaks and some good breaks. But I’m confident listening to everybody that we’ve got a good, young team that’s headed in the right direction.”
Haslam added, “I think the Browns are heading in the right direction, but they were 4-12 last year. They’ve had two really good drafts in a row. I think Tom (general manager Tom Heckert) and his team have done a really nice job. But we’ve probably still got a ways to go.
“What I’ve told every fan … is hang in there, be patient. We’ll work our hardest to bring a winner here. I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight, but I do think we’re heading in the right direction.”