The NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata for four games on Dec. 4 for violating its performance-enhancing drug (PED) policy.
The NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata for four games on Dec. 3 for violating its performance-enhancing drug policy.
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According Ryan Mink of the Ravens' official website, Ngata admitted to taking Aderall. He will now sit out the remainder of Balitmore's regular season. The Ravens are currently 7-5 and in a three-way tie for second place in the AFC North behind the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1).
The Ravens released an official statement where Ngata expressed deep remorse, per Mink:
"I made a mistake, and I own this.
"I took Aderall and take full responsibility for doing this. I am deeply sorry and broken up over this. I let down my family, my teammates, Ravens fans and myself. My hope is that the Ravens make the playoffs, and I believe they can do this. And, then I can come back and help us win."
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday that Ngata learned of his four-game suspension through a league source on Tuesday, per Rapoport's colleague, Dan Sessler. Ngata will be docked $2.125 million in base salary.
Rapoport (via Sessler) says Ngata took Aderall because he "was feeling sluggish during the season from balancing home life and work and wanted help concentrating." Ngata was described as "humiliated" when the results came out, and made no effort to dispute them.
The Baltimore Sun's Childs Walker spoke with several doctors who confirm that Adderall "can grant a person unusual focus and quicker reaction times for a concentrated period." Walker interviewed Dr. Scott T. Aaronson, director of clinical research programs at Sheppard Pratt Health System, who says Adderall can give athletes the jolt they need. However, caffeine can do the same thing.
Aaronson also says too much Adderall can result in an athlete's heart racing "or they would feel like jumping out of their skin," per Walker.
The Baltimore Sun interviewed Ngata's teammate, Ravens wide receiver Torry Smith, who couldn't come up with a reason why Ngata resorted to Adderall:
"It's not like it's a big problem around the league but I mean, that Adderall stuff, you never really know who...It's not like people are passing them around like candy or anything. It's been something that you've been seeing around the league a lot. Some people, it helps them focus and some people, they need it and can't get prescriptions. I don't know what his deal was. He probably just made a mistake."
The suspension comes at an unforunate time. Ngata had been enjoying his best season to date: Mink notes the Ravens defensive end/nose tackle has 31 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. What's more is he has been voted to the Pro Bowl for five consecutive seasons.
The good news for Baltimore is Ngata's suspension ends on Dec. 29. Should the team make the playoffs, Ngata would be eligible to suit up, says Mink.
Nonetheless, Ngata's suspension is the pinnacle of what has been a tough and trying season for the Ravens. Aside from the Ray Rice controversy (which led Baltimore to dismiss him from the team), they also lost tight end Dennis Pitta and cornerback Jimmy Smith to season-ending injuries. Mink notes rookie Timmy Jernigan, who has two sacks in the last three games, could very well be the next man up for Baltimore in Ngata's absence.
Terrence Cody and DeAngelo Tyson round up the Ravens' depth chart at nose tackle, per Mink.
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