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MLB, MLBPA joint drug report shows Adderall use rising in baseball

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Carlos Ruiz was one of eight players disciplined for amphetamine use this year.
Carlos Ruiz was one of eight players disciplined for amphetamine use this year. (USATSI)

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players' Association released a joint drug report on Friday, covering the 2012-13 season. Here is the text, courtesy of Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:

The report covers from the 2012 offseason to the end of the 2013 Major League Baseball post-season. The report is specific to Players who compose forty-man rosters for Major League Baseball Clubs.

1) The total number of drug tests that were conducted for the presence of Performance Enhancing Substances and/or Stimulants during the time listed above 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

Respectfully submitted,
Jeffrey M. Anderson, MD
Independent Program Administrator
Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program

First things first: Those 13 players in item No. 3 are the players suspended for their ties for Biogenesis. None of them failed a drug test, but MLB dug up enough evidence to hand down suspensions.

As for item No. 2, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times notes the report implies one in 10 players are treated for Attention Deficit Disorder with Adderall, which is roughly double the rate of the general population. The number of Adderall exemptions in MLB has risen considerably since 2006 -- 28 in 2006 to 103 in 2007, for example -- when amphetamines were banned.

Baseball is a game built around short periods of intense focus surrounded by a lot of down time, so it makes sense players would seek Adderall. The only difference between this and more hardcore (and frowned upon) performance-enhancing drugs is that most players are using Adderall under the direction of a doctor and with approval from MLB.

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