I wrote a blog in September, when the Orioles slugging first baseman had been suspended for testing positive for Adderall. Who knows what would have happened in the Playoffs if the Orioles had had his bat in the lineup? Now, I read in an article by David Wilson on MLB.com, that Davis has supposedly been granted a Therapeutic Exemption for the use of Adderall.
I reprint the article from September below to emphasize the ineffective and hypocritical manner in which the use of this drug has been handled by Major League Baseball. Hopefully, our new Commissioner will take steps to see that the organization deals with its problems more effectively and efficiently than this one has been.
DAVIS SUSPENDED FOR ADDERALL USE
The Baltimore Orioles have clinched the American League East Division Championship, for the first time since 1997, and are headed for the playoffs. They ran away with the division and, as of this writing, have the second best win loss record in all of major league baseball.
Buck Showalter has done a great job with a team that has been missing two of its most important players for a large portion of the season. Matt Wieters, their All Star Catcher, has been out after Tommy John surgery and Manny Machado, last year’s All Star third baseman had his second season ending knee injury in two years.
Now they have lost their slugging first baseman, Chris Davis, another 2013 All Star, to a 25 game suspension for testing positive for the drug Adderall. He will be lost to his team for the first two rounds of the playoffs and possibly for part of next season.
Adderall is a drug used to treat Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. This disorder, which causes, according to WEBMD, inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating and failure to complete work within time limits, is present, again according to WEBMD, in four percent of the adult population.
Adderall, an amphetemine, is a banned substance according to major league baseball’s drug policy. For persons suffering from ADHD, the major leagues can grant, upon request and proof of need, a Therapeutic Use Exemption, allowing a player to use Adderall to combat the symptoms of the disease.
Davis previously had been granted an Exemption but did not apply for one this year. Under the policy, if a player tests positive for the use of the drug, without an exemption, that player is subject to random urine testing six times in the next twelve months. Davis had had one positive test so the positive finding this time resulted in an automatic suspension for 25 games.
Amphetamines, known as ‘greenies’, have been used for years by players to improve their performance over the gruelling 162 game season. There apparently is no evidence to prove that the use of amphetamines has a significant effect upon a player’s ability. Jeff Passan, writing for Yahoo Sports about Davis’ suspension recently said ‘ Whether or not the extra focus Adderall delivers translates definitively to a baseball field never will be clear.’
I find it hard to believe that many people suffering from the symptom of this disease would be able to develop their skills to the level it takes to compete in the major leagues, never mind hit 53 home runs and drive in 138 runs as Davis did last year. 119 of the 1200 players on major league rosters have been granted Therapeutic Use Exemptions. While 4% of the general population suffer from the disease, the major leagues have granted exemptions to almost 10% of these finely tuned athletes.
Baseball has to, sometime soon, get its act together when dealing with the use of any type of drugs. The fact that the number of athletes supposedly being treated for ADHD is 2 ½ the number in the general population is just another example of the way in which this issue has been bungled.