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Friday, December 19, 2014

Brandon Spikes Tested Positive for ADHD Medicine, Possibly Adderall

You might want to save the “Patriots are cheaters” talk for now.  New England linebacker Brandon Spikes was suspended for the final four regular season games on Friday for testing positive for banned substances.  According to Patriots’ insider Tom E. Curran of CSN New England, that banned substance is ADHD medication.  As most you probably know, ADHD is a common medical condition known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

In a statement on Friday, Spikes acknowledged that the substance he was taking was probably one that he should have cleared through the league and that he understood the NFL’s ruling.  If you’re wondering why he wouldn’t appeal the suspension, the reason is that it would be too risky with the playoffs right around the corner. Rather than risk having his appeal denied and having to serve a suspension in the postseason, Spikes has chosen to accept the penalty to assure he’s eligible for the playoffs.

Adderall, one of the most common drugs used to treat ADHD, contains amphetamines, which are listed as a performance enhancer under the NFL’s substance abuse policy.  Sure they help you concentrate, but let’s be serious — if Curran’s report is true this hardly sounds like a big deal.  I’m not sure a drug that helps you concentrate a little better would give a football player a significant competitive advantage.  Spikes could easily receive a prescription for such a medication if he hadn’t already, so his only mistake was not being careful.



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