Sunday, February 1, 2015


This past weekend, Chris Davis made an appearance at the Baltimore Orioles’ FanFest, and opened up about his suspension and his use of Adderall. As you may recall, Chris Davis was suspended last September for 25 games for his use of Adderall, in violation of baseball’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. At the time, he cited his need for the drug to help treat his Attention Deficit Disorder, and he had failed to get a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption).

“"It was a moment of weakness," Davis said. “For me, it was off the field, just an everyday life thing. I was a little overwhelmed, just kind of with everything that was going on with the (oblique) injury. There were a lot of different things that were taking my focus away from baseball. It was a mistake that I wish I could undo, but I can't, so I've just got to move forward.” It was nice to see some contrition from Davis, which draws a stark contrast from others caught using PED’s.

I wrote a piece on this after the revelation of his Adderall use and subsequent suspension in September - CHRIS DAVIS & THE ADDERALL EXCUSE. In it, I outlined the challenge of discerning between legitimate and illegitimate uses of this drug. Chris Davis clearly is arguing that his use is to meet a legitimate medical need. “Anabolic steroids and Adderall or stimulants, whatever you want to call them, are two completely different things,” Davis argues. “But, for me, the biggest thing is when you have ADHD … [Adderall] is not a performance-enhancing drug. It doesn’t give you the same effect that it would for someone who doesn’t have the same disease.” What he is saying is that for him, it does not enhance his performance in baseball as it might for someone else.

Chris Davis came up in 2008 with a lot of potential, and he continued his growth in 2009 before having unspectacular 2010 and 2011 seasons. In 2012, Davis exploded with 33 home runs, and followed it up in 2013 with 53 home runs, 138 RBI, and a slash line of .286/.370/.634. In that year he had a TUE, was taking Adderall, and came in third in the voting of American League MVP. Last year he had a rough year, and by his own admission, he took the medication in a moment of weakness.

The tough thing about this case is that it is hard to distinguish whether or not this is a true medical need. Is the medication giving him an unfair advantage, or is it just helping him have the right level of focus, which allows his natural ability to come out. Nobody wants to tell someone with an illness that they cannot compete in professional sports because they are not allowed to take their medicine. It reminds me of when Oscar Pistorius was accused of having an unfair advantage because his artificial legs were helping him run faster. Seriously???

Unfortunately, we have another casualty of the PED issue. Chris Davis is in a no-win situation. If we don’t believe him, he is another guy who gets away with taking PED’s.. He has one more game on suspension – opening day – and then he can begin his season on day 2. If we do give him the benefit of the doubt, then what if he begins hitting close to .300 and get on pace to hit 40+ home runs? His one unexceptional season will have been the one when he was not taking Adderall. We all know what conclusion most people will draw.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

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