August 26, 2014

ESPN Cleveland: Haden wanted to be in “substance abuse” program

Tony Grossi and ESPN Cleveland have a report indicating that Joe Haden and his agent attempted an appeal that I suggested just based on common sense. When the rumors swirled that Joe Haden was popped for Adderall in an off-season test, it seemed silly to treat it like a performance-enhancer such as a steroid or growth hormone. Apparently Joe Haden’s counsel agreed.

A league source told ESPN Cleveland that Haden’s argument in his appeal was that his positive test should have been treated as a violation of the league’s policy on substance abuse rather than the policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. A first offender of the substance abuse policy would be admitted to the league’s drug program and not suspended.

All along, it seemed to me while the violation was clearly a stupid mistake on the part of Joe Haden, it never sit right that it was a “performance-enhancing” situation. It seemed that it was clearly a situation of drug or substance abuse more akin to recreational speed use than HGH or ‘roids.

The NFL obviously didn’t flinch on the appeal, but hopefully they revisit their policy going forward, because I think it mis-categorized Joe Haden’s stupid mistake.

[Related: Haden Back, Dimitri Patterson out “a couple of weeks”]

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I agree with that assessment. Yes, Joe Haden broke the rules and should serve the punishment, but the rules should be revisited. I see no reason that this situation shouldn’t have been treated as if the player had used ecstasy or marijuana. But again, shame on Joe. His selfish stupidity really hurt his team. This was a very good lesson for him.

  • Patrick Elder

    As long as it doesn’t cut into Roger Goodell’s bottom-line, we won’t be seeing sensible revisiting of nonsensical policies any time soon.

  • saggy

    Joe has to do a better job of not getting caught, like the other 94% of the league does.

  • Steve

    The majority of illegal utilization of Adderall, though, is for performance enhancing purposes, and not recreational use. This problem is much more prevalent in baseball, but I don’t understand the light treatment people give greenies, both in regard to safety and performance-enhancement.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    “The majority of illegal utilization of Adderall, though, is for performance enhancing purposes, and not recreational use”

    Among athletes? If you’re talking about the whole population, there’s no way that’s true. Either way, you should probably link the medical journal you pulled that from, doctor.

  • porckchopexpress

    For what its worth I know alot of people who crush it up and snort it for a baby coke buzz. The joys of life in the business of dispensation of libations.

  • porckchopexpress

    For what its worth I don’t know anyone personally who takes it for working out. I do remember when I used to take ephendrine (product called Ultimate Orange) before it was banned, and I can tell you that a scoop or so of that stuff made you feel like Chuck Norris’s bear driving a flaming Lamborghini through the Playboy mansion. Point is Adderall is an amphetamine, and I could almost guarantee there are a poo ton more people then one might suspect taking it to boost their workouts.

  • porckchopexpress

    Craig as mentioned below if you ever took and ephedra/amphetamine for workout use you would absolutely see it the same as a steriod/HGH. I am personally pretty sure that Haden’s Vegas story is complete BS. Its a great and believable cover, I personally cannot believe that he had the great misfortune of taking a single pill and then getting his card pulled for a drug test within the next 5 days. Considering the suspension, I’m guessing there was enough Adderall in his urine that the testers concluded it was more than a person taking “one” pill to stay awake in Vegas would have. I’d compare it to a guy claiming he had “one” beer and then blowing a .12 on the breath test. Its all speculation but to me the length of the suspension says the league had evidence that contradicted his story.

  • Steve

    Among both. I’m not sure why people don’t see greenies as performance enhancers. Even if you don’t get the kind of rush porkchop describes, they still are provide a strong pick-me-up and increase your focus. There’s more than one way to enhance your performance.

  • mgbode

    i stayed away from GNC even in my crazy workout days, but i can definitely see how amphetimines would boost a workout. one of the toughest things about getting good continual gains is fighting through the Wedgian Grind. just having the focus/energy to fight and claw to do better than yesterday every single day.

    it may not seem like that would be a significant boost, but i think it definitely would be.

  • mgbode

    very true. see Josh Hamilton. he was drinking so much coffee that he strained his eyeballs and it screwed up his hitting for a month.

    the side-effect aside for a moment. how much coffee do you need to drink for that to happen? (it was apparently tons and tons according to reports in Dallas)

  • Vindictive_Pat

    The reason I doubt it’s among both is because it’s a wildly popular recreational drug amongst teenagers. So many of them have actual prescriptions for Adderall that they end up sharing with friends who don’t have prescriptions. It’s probably hard to capture how often that happens, but it’s got to be higher than those using for performance-enhancing. Either way, is it really that much different than caffeine or whatever they put in those 5-hour energy drinks?