Giants RB Andre Brown won his appeal and will not have to serve the four-game suspension he had been hit with in March. He had originally been found to have violated the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
But Brown, who spent part of the 2010 season with the Broncos, says the suspension had resulted from a clerical error regarding his prescription for the ADHD medication Adderall.
Texans punter Brett Hartmann had also been suspended four games for ADHD meds and won his appeal last week. Unlike Brown, Hartmann must serve a reduced three-game suspension instead.
Judging from the players' statements, it appears the divergent appeal outcomes stems from the timing of each player's having gotten their prescriptions approved by the league. Brown said a failure on his part to fill out the proper paperwork had triggered his suspension:
It was something that I've been on since I've been in the league, which was Adderall. I just forgot to fill out some paperwork and that was it.
Meanwhile, Hartmann admits to not having gotten league approval prior to his positive test:
It was just for ADD medicine, but now I have approval to take it from our doctors and the NFL doctors. I just made a mistake. Should have got that approved before. Just got to move on. Serve the three-game suspension.
Hartmann's statement is similar to that of Broncos TE Virgil Green, who was also suspended four games for ADHD meds:
I was suspended for four games for taking ADHD medication prior to obtaining an exemption from the League. I have now obtained the proper exemption to take the medication that has been prescribed to me to treat my condition. I apologize to my teammates, coaches and fans for my mistake and will make sure to never let anything like this happen again.
According to an article by Jeff Legwold in the Denver Post, Green already lost his appeal of the suspension, which reportedly stems from a drug test administered prior to his rookie 2011 season.
So, what gives? Are the circumstances of Green's suspension different than those of Hartmann's? If not, why does Green still face a four-game penalty while Hartmann's has been cut to three?
Beyond those details though, why is the league suspending players for using ADHD medications they have (presumably) legitimately been taking under the care of their physicians?
Something just doesn't seem right about this policy.
But one thing does: Brown's spelling of Roger Goodell's name...
Suspension lifted !!!!!!!! Thank God
Surely not what he meant, but we're going to interpret it that way.