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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Neifi Perez Suspended 80 Games for Amphetamines, Cites ADHD

Detroit Tigers’ utility infielder, Neifi Perez, was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball for a third positive test for amphetamines. The suspension was announced the day Perez was set to return from his first suspension (25 games) which began on July 6, 2007. In all this marks Perez’s third positive test this season.

Under the terms of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, a forth positive test calls for a suspension the length of which would be determined by the commissioner’s office. That suspension would surely exceed 80 games. In all Perez will forfeit $1,188,525 of his $2.5 million salary.

When Perez’s first suspension was announced he said there were “things that are going to be known going forward.” After this suspension Perez labeled the process “unfair.”

"They called three different positives on a 20-day-period. I was using a medicine that was supposedly authorized by the doctors due to a personal condition."

"Many people might be trying to understand how is it possible that a player tests positive for the same substance three times in half a season… The truth is that they tested me four times between May 10th and June 1st and they never told me if there was anything wrong. I have been using that same medicine all this time."

Perez said he had been diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and was using prescribed Adderall since last season. When his prescription ran out before spring training, and he was unable to get more Adderall, an unnamed Tigers’ employee told him he could use any amphetamine.

"I went to two different drug stores and they wouldn't sell me the medicine, so someone from the team told me I could use any amphetamine and I started using something else… They tested me during spring training and everything was negative. But then in May I guess I tested positive, but they never told me there was something wrong."

A handful of other major league players are known to have ADHD and use this or a similar medication for treatment. This practice is legal under baseball’s rules provided the players get a waiver from MLB. Pittsburgh Pirates’ first basemen Adam LaRoche and pitcher Tom Gorzelanny as well as Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Derek Lowe are a few of such players.

 
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