Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is firing back after ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Freeman entered stage one of the NFL's drug program. The reports, which reveal Freeman's private medical information, implied that drugs were an issue for Freeman.
In a press release by his agents, Freeman says he voluntarily entered the program after getting permission to use Adderall for his ADHD. Since entering the program, Freeman said he has passed 46 drug tests. That information was not supposed to become public, but once it did Freeman explained the situation.
The full text of Freeman's statement is below, via Pro Football Talk:
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.
Freeman is rightfully upset about his medical information getting leaked. None of this reflects well on the Buccaneers organization, which has remained quiet to this point. Be sure to check out SB Nation's Buccaneers blog, Bucs Nation, which is not pleased about how this story has developed.