The Josh Freeman saga took another ugly turn last night when ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that
he was enrolled in the NFL’s Stage One drug program.
The names of the players in Stage One are supposed to be kept confidential, but someone leaked it.
Last night Freeman — who lost his starting job and was deactivated by coach Greg Schiano last weekend — issued a statement explaining why he’s enrolled in the program.
He claimed that he accidentally took Ritalin instead of Adderall for ADHD and tested positive, which landed him in the program. He added that he never tested positive for illegal substances, and said “some people who may have noticed the testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions.”
If we’re reading between the lines, he thinks someone inside the team (his “workplace”) leaked it to smear him.
Let me be very clear. I have NEVER tested positive for any illegal drugs or related substances. Further, I have agreed to take, and have PASSED 46 NFL-regulated drug tests over the last year and a half.
Since the confidentiality of my medical status has been publicly violated, I am choosing to address this matter so that grossly erroneous assumptions about me do not persist. Like millions of Americans, I have ADHD and I have been prescribed and permitted to take medication to treat this condition for the entirety of my NFL career. Well over a year ago, I took a different medication for the same condition (Ritalin rather than Adderall) , and to assure everyone that the error was a one-time mistake, I agreed to be voluntarily tested in the “NFL Program”. Since that time, I have taken and passed all 46 drug tests I’ve been given, which test for every drug and banned substance imaginable. I agreed to allow such testing to be done at my workplace (team facility) because I spend all of my time there and I have nothing whatsoever to hide or be embarrassed about.
Unfortunately, it appears that some people who may have noticed the testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions and chosen to disseminate inaccurate and very disturbing information. It is a shame that when times have gotten tough, people have chosen to attack the character of others, rather than supporting each other. I remain dedicated and focused to being the best quarterback I can be and to help a team win a championship.
Last week Freeman admitted that a trade would be the best option for him at this point.
It’s hard to see Freeman returning to the team unless there’s a coaching change. They’re basically smearing him on his way out the door, and all that’s left now is to find a willing trade partner.
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