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Over 100 major leaguers approved for ADD drugs

December 1, 2010 |  2:51 pm

For the fourth consecutive season, more than 100 major league players were cleared to take drugs for attention deficit disorder under baseball's drug policy.

The significant use of ADD drugs, perceived as a way to skirt baseball's amphetamine ban, emerged as an issue in congressional hearings after the release of the Mitchell Report in 2007. Baseball responded by toughening the requirements to obtain approval for ADD drugs, but the number of players authorized to use them has yet to decline substantially.

The annual report on baseball's drug program, released jointly Wednesday by the commissioner's office and the players' union, revealed that 105 players received a so-called therapeutic use exemption for ADD drugs and another 13 tested positive for Adderall, a prominent ADD drug. Under the policy, players testing positive for stimulants for the first time are not suspended.

Baseball granted a therapuetic use exemption for ADD drugs to 108 players in 2009, with another 11 testing positive for Adderall. Baseball granted ADD drug exemptions to 106 players in 2008 and 103 players in 2007.

Of the 3,747 tests administered last season, two resulted in player suspensions. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was suspended 50 games after a positive test for clomiphene, most commonly prescribed as a female fertility drug, and Florida Marlins catcher Ronny Paulino was suspended 50 games after a positive test for oxandrolone, a synthetic steroid.

-- Bill Shaikin