Jim Harbaugh has 'definitely noticed' Seahawks PED suspensions

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Jim Harbaugh says he's
Jim Harbaugh says he's 'definitely noticed' the Seahawks run of Adderall suspensions. (USATSI)

The Seahawks have faced lots of scrutiny for their rash of performance-enhancing drug suspensions in recent weeks; CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman floated the Seadderall Seahawks as a nickname rolling around the league.

And he isn't the only one who's spotted the trend -- asked about five Seahawks getting nailed since 2010, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he's "definitely noticed it" and added that he's not sure you can "take them at their word" that it's Adderall being taken.

"I've definitely noticed it," Harbaugh told Bay Area reporters on Tuesday. "You don't know what it is. Even when people say what it is, you don't know that that's what it is. I've heard this thrown out or that, but that's usually the agent or the players themselves saying it's, for example, Adderall. But the NFL doesn't release what it actually is, so you have no idea.

"You're taking somebody at their word that I don't know if you can take them at their word, understanding the circumstances."

Harbaugh continued lamenting the issue saying that if you win you want to be "above reproach" and that if you win and you're cheating, "you've already lost."

"It has no place in an athlete's body. Play by the rules," Harbaugh said. "You want to be above reproach, especially when you're good, because you don't want people to come back and say, 'They're winning because they're cheating.' That's always going to be a knee-jerk reaction in my experience, since I was a little kid. We want to be a above reproach in everything and do everything by the rules.

"If you don't, if you cheat to win then you've already lost, according to Bo Schembechler. And Bo Schembechler is about next to the Word of God. It's not the Word of God, but it's close."

Now these quotes are all but guaranteed to rile up the Seahawks fan base, probably the Seahawks players and, most likely, Pete Carroll, too.

But given some of Richard Sherman's comments in the upcoming ESPN the Magazine issue, maybe they won't be too upset about the way Harbaugh feels.

Sherman, asked about whether or not the Seahawks have an issue with PEDs in the wake of Bruce Irvin's latest suspension (again, the fifth since 2010), said "it does seem that way."

The star cornerback also added a familiar NFL platitude to the issue.

"It is what it is," Sherman said.

And he vehemently denied ever taking any PEDs or Adderall or any substance relating to a failed test that led to a suspension that led to a controversial overturning after the process for Sherman's test was compromised.

"Nope. Didn't take it at all," he said. "The question only remains for people who want the question to remain."

This isn't the first time Sherman has delivered controversial comments relating to Adderall: he recently said that "half the league" takes Adderall, sparking more than a few raised eyebrows in his -- and the NFL's general -- direction.

Adderall and PEDs continue to remain a centerpiece for heated discussion, precisely because of the lack of clarity that Harbaugh spoke about. No one knows who or what exactly is the truth because there's no transparency in the process.

But that doesn't mean Harbaugh's comments still won't create a stink in an already feisty NFC West rivalry.

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