NEW YORK (AP) -ADD is soaring faster in the major leagues than ERAs, according to statistics cited at Tuesday's congressional hearing on doping in baseball.
Following the ban on amphetamines at the start of 2006, players seemingly turned to Ritalin and Adderall, stimulants better known as treatments for hyperactive kids.
There were 35 so-called ``Therapeutic Use Exemptions'' for drugs in 2006, of which 28 were for Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to data provided to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by Major League Baseball and the players' association. In 2007, the exemptions skyrocketed to 111, of which 103 were for ADD and ADHD.
A copy of the data was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press
ews as a national epidemic. It's an outrageous number.''
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates 3 percent to 5 percent of children have ADHD, according to its Web site.
According to the MLB data, 1,354 players were subject to testing last year. That means 8.2 percent received permission from their team physician and Dr. Bryan Smith, baseball's independent program administrator, to use Ritalin and Adderall.
``That would make that almost eight times the normal adult usage in our population,'' said Massachusetts Democrat John Tierney, who brought up the issue.
Baseball already has made changes in the TUE process for 2008. Before a player will be allowed to use a drug, the team physician must send the prescription to the independent administrator for approval before the player uses the substance.
MLB plans to convene a meeting of physicians and experts early next month and has approached the players' union about participating.
``This is a topic on which we intend to be proactive, to make sure that we're adequately handling the issue of TUEs,'' said Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president of labor relations.
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