Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Thursday on "NFL AM" that he didn't tell the Vancouver Sun that "half the league" takes Adderall.
"First off, I didn't say that," Sherman said about quotes published Tuesday by the newspaper. "It's just another case of these writers trying to gain a little notoriety in an interview. What I said was there's a bunch of guys on prescription for Adderall. I've never seen people get prescribed a performance-enhancing drug, you know what I mean? ... They go so crazy when guys test positive for it, but a bunch of guys have prescriptions for it, so it's kind of misleading."
Sherman was suspended last season for allegedly taking Adderall, but he successfully appealed a four-game suspension due to a mishandled sample.
The NFL sent a statement Thursday to NFL.com's Steve Wyche in response to what Sherman was quoted as saying in the Sun article:
"The comments are ill-informed and inaccurate. Adderall is easily detected under current testing and will result in a suspension absent an approved therapeutic use exemption. If his statement were true, we would be seeing many more positive tests and suspensions. More importantly, his comments are irresponsible, as they ignore the serious medical risks and documented public health crisis associated with the improper use of Adderall and similar drugs."
The third-year pro said some players suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and have a reason to take the drug, but he doesn't know how it would help someone without the ailment.
"I'm not sure. I've never taken it," Sherman said. "So I'm not sure. From what I've learned from this whole case and everything, it somehow slows it down for people that are sped up, like ADHD. Apparently, the guys are too sped up and there are breaks in their attention that the Adderall kind of bridges the breaks ... and allows them to stay focused on one thing at a time."
Sherman later said that if it could be proven players without a prescription were using Adderall as a performance-enhancer, he would be in favor of stiff punishments. However, he seemed befuddled by the fact that a drug prescribed to certain players can be viewed as a performance-enhancer for others.