Drug Use Increasing Among MLB Players
Major League Baseball authorized 8% of its players to take drugs for ADHD last year, which allows the players to use drugs that are usually banned by the league. This has become a trend over the past few years as more and more players claim they have ADHD. In 2007 103 players were using banned stimulants to correct the disorder and in 2008 106 were using banned substances that were authorized by the leagues medical staff.
''This is incredible. This is quite spectacular. There seems to be an epidemic of ADD in major league baseball,'' said Dr. Gary Wadler, chairman of the committee that determines the banned-substances list for the World Anti-Doping Agency.
He recommended an independent panel be established to review the exemption requests.
''I've been in private practice for a lot of years. I can count on one hand the number of individuals that have ADD,'' he said. ''To say that close to 10 per cent of major league baseball players have attention deficit disorder is crying out of an explanation. It is to me as an internist so off the map of my own experience.''
Drug use in the MLB has been under much scrutiny in the past decade and as a result testing has become stricter and more frequent. A recent report released by the Anti-Doping Agency stated that out of the last 3,486 tests conducted on players, 19 came back positive. 14 tests were for banned substances while five resulted in players being suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Pitchers J.C. Romero and Sergio Mitre were penalized last week after testing positive for a banned substance known as androstenedione, which came from supplements they purchased over-the-counter.