On Friday November 29th 2013, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association released an annual report from the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program’s Independent Program Administrator testing over 1200 MLB players. Based on the research and specifics of the report 4 distinct results have been determined.
1) The total number of drug tests that were conducted for the presence of Performance Enhancing Substances and/or Stimulants was 5,391 tests. The number of urine samples that were collected and analyzed for the presence of Performance Enhancing Substances and/or Stimulants was 4,022. The number of blood samples that were collected and analyzed for the presence of human growth hormone was 1,369.
2) Eight tests were reported by the testing laboratory for having an adverse analytical finding that resulted in discipline. All were for Stimulants. The substances reported were as follows: Adderall: 7; Methylhexaneamine: 1
3) 13 non-analytical positives resulted in discipline.
4) 122 Therapeutic Use Exemptions were granted. The diagnoses were as follows: Attention Deficit Disorder: 119; Hypogonadism: 3
An interesting takeaway from this research is the high number of athletes using Adderall, a drug that is meant from persons with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), before games. Players like Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz have been suspended using this drug however 119 MLB have exemptions or notes from doctors stating they can use this drug. The MLB drug tested 1200 athletes which resulted in 119 of its athletes testing positive for Adderall. One in every ten players claims to have Attention Deficit Disorder meanwhile in America only 4.7% of the population needs Adderall, the MLB is exceeding the average rate. Once the MLB decided to ban amphetamines, Adderall usage went up from 28 players to 103 players in 2007. If players are finding loopholes in the system in order to gain a competitive advantage the MLB should consider banning any performance enhancing drug for an even playing field.
Players taking Adderall that are not diagnosed with ADD gain increased mental alertness, added focus, and faster reactions. Adderall is a performance enhancing drug that allows athletes to be on the “top of their game” day in and day out. The MLB and MLBPA should continue to monitor athletes abusing Adderall especially the ones lying to their doctors to get the drugs. It may be tough to monitor but if Adderall use continues to increase among players the MLB and MLBPA has to ban the drug from all competitive play.