by Aaron Wilson
October 01, 02013
Embattled Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is in the first stage of the NFL drug program, according to ESPN.
Although he's subject to random testing, Freeman reportedly isn't close to facing a suspension because he has obtained a temporary-use extension for a prescription drug.
Freeman issued a statement saying he has a prescription for Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but inadvertenally ingested Ritalin last year and tested positive. That's what placed him in the NFL drug program.
Here's Freeman's statement, where he suggested that the Buccaneers, who have benched him and banished him from the sidelines after replacing him with Mike Glennon, have leaked negative information about him:
"Let me be very clear. I have NEVER tested positive for any illegal drugs or related substances. Further, I have agreed to take, and have PASSED 46 NFL-regulated drug tests over the last year and a half. Since the confidentiality of my medical status has been publicly violated, I am choosing to address this matter so that grossly erroneous assumptions about me do not persist. Like millions of Americans, I have ADHD and I have been prescribed and permitted to take medication to treat this condition for the entirety of my NFL career. Well over a year ago, I took a different medication for the same condition (Ridilin rather than Adderall) , and to assure everyone that the error was a one-time mistake, I agreed to be voluntarily tested in the "NFL Program."
"Since that time, I have taken and passed all 46 drug tests I've been given, which test for every drug and banned substance imaginable. I agreed to allow such testing to be done at my workplace (team facility) because I spend all of my time there and I have nothing whatsoever to hide or be embarrassed about. Unfortunately, it appears that some people who may have noticed the testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions and chosen to disseminate inaccurate and very disturbing information. It is a shame that when times have gotten tough, people have chosen to attack the character of others, rather than supporting each other. I remain dedicated and focused to being the best quarterback I can be and to help a team win a championship."
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.