Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s doping policy, says he unknowingly ingested Adderall prescribed to a teammate, according to a person informed of Sherman’s explanation.
The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because neither Sherman nor his agent have discussed the details of the case publicly, said Sherman says he accidentally drank from a bottle into which a teammate poured a crushed Adderall pill. The person said the teammate is permitted to take the drug under NFL rules because he has a prescription.
Sherman’s agent, Kevin Poston, declined to comment on the specifics of the appeal when asked Monday afternoon. When presented with the accidental-ingestion scenario, Poston said: “What appears is not always the case. Hopefully, when the facts come out, justice will prevail.”
In a series of texts to Curtis Crabtree, a reporter for Sports Radio KJR in Seattle, Sherman denied ever ingesting any banned substances. Crabtree tweeted Sherman told him the accidental-ingestion scenario is “totally false” and added, “It will be resolved in time and I have never taken anything.”
Meanwhile, a person informed of Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner’s appeal of his four-game suspension said Browner insists the officials who performed the test did not follow proper protocol and that he saw one of the officials pour urine from one container into another. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
According to the person with knowledge of Sherman’s defense, Browner is in the NFL’s substance-abuse program because of an undisclosed incident while he was with the Denver Broncos in 2005. When Browner returned to the NFL last season after five years in the CFL, he was reinstated in the program, which involves repeat testing. Browner is claiming he never would’ve knowingly taken a substance banned by the NFL.
Browner’s representatives and the NFL Players Association are still gathering information on how the tests were conducted. At this point, the timing of potential appeals hearings is unclear.