Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg claims that an ATP player told him that he estimates ‘half of the top 100’ stars are using adderall after Spaniard Fernando Verdasco was issued a doping ban. The 39-year-old accepted a charge under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, after a urine sample taken at an event in Rio in February this year contained evidence of the ADHD medication drug, methylphenidate.
However, it was accepted that the former world No 7 had not intended to cheat, but had forgotten to renew his Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) with WADA. The Spaniard has been handed a two month ban, and can’t return to action until January 8.
Following the news, old rival Nick Kyrgios has taken aim at Verdasco, quipping: “Can’t say I’m surprised with this one.” But the saga has ignited the debate over the prospect of players tactically using TUE’s to benefit them on the tour.
Tennis icon Pam Shriver tweeted: “Through grape vines of pro tennis, I hear that many players are on ADHD meds to help sharpen focus and concentration in a manner that brings up integrity questions. Are ADHD meds the meldonium for the brain? Wonder how many current players have asked for a TUE for ADHD recently?”
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