Source: USA TODAY
The number of Major League Baseball players cleared to use Adderall to fight attention deficit disorder has nearly reached the 10% mark.
MLB and the Players’ Association joint release of a report on its drug-testing program revealed that 119 players received therapeutic use exemptions to treat attention deficit disorder, up from 116 one year ago. In addition, three players received exemptions to treat hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce sufficient testosterone.
Baseball banned stimulants after the 2005 season, and Adderall, used to treat ADHD, is on MLB’s list of banned substances. A panel of three experts must approve an exemption for a player, a recommendation from the 2007 Mitchell Report that baseball fully implemented in June 2011.
Still, the scrutiny hasn’t curbed the number of TUEs granted.
In 2007, 103 exemptions for Adderall were granted, and the number was 105 in both 2010 and 2011. It leaped to 116 last year.
This year’s 119 exemptions means that 9.9% of players on 40-man rosters received exemptions, almost exactly double the 4.4% of the general adult population that suffers from ADD and related disorders.
MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred has said the game’s population makes it likelier its players will receive treatment for ADD.
“Our population doesn’t look like the nation,” Manfred told USA TODAY Sports in 2012. “We are younger. We are higher income, and there’s no question attention is a key part of what these athletes do. So the idea that we would have a higher incidence rate than the general rate is really not that surprising.”
In all, 5,391 tests for PEDs were administered in 2013, including 1,369 blood tests for human growth hormone. Eight players were disciplined for use of stimulants, seven for Adderall, including Phillies starting catcher Carlos Ruiz.
No players tested positive for steroids or HGH, but 13 players were suspended for non-analytical positives related to the Biogenesis clinic scandal. New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez’s appeal of his suspension remains in arbitration.