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Cedric Griffin Suspended By NFL For Use Of Adderall, According To League Source
(Originally posted 12/4/12, 3:57 p.m.; Updated 12/4/12, 7:24 p.m.)
ASHBURN – Cedric Griffin has been suspended four games by the league for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances, the NFL announced Tuesday.
According to a league source familiar with Griffin’s suspension, the Washington Redskins cornerback tested positive for amphetamines and cited the use of Adderall, which is a prescription drug and a stimulant used often in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder because it improves focus and energy, as the reason for the suspension.
Griffin will miss the Redskins’ final four regular season games and will be reinstated on Dec. 31, which would allow him to return should the team, currently at 6-6 and one game out of the NFC East lead, make the playoffs. He was placed on the reserve/suspended list by the team on Tuesday to free up a roster spot, though the Redskins did not sign a replacement.
Suspensions are not announced by the league until the player completes an appeal, which, for Griffin, happened on Nov. 28. A four-game suspension is standard for a player who is violating the policy for the first time.
A team spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment on the details of the suspension, which was announced shortly after Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan concluded his weekly televised news conference.
The 6-foot, 195-pound Griffin has made 33 tackles, deflected four passes and forced one fumble this season serving primarily as the Redskins’ nickelback. He has started each of the last two games, playing approximately 75 percent of all snaps, and had five tackles in the Redskins’ 17-16 victory over the New York Giants on Monday.
The use of Adderall has been one of the more frequent reasons cited for failing a test for amphetamines, as urine tests administered by the league are not able to distinguish between which variant of the drug a player ingests.
Tampa Bay cornerback Eric Wright was suspended for four games by the NFL last week for a positive drug test he later attributed to Adderall, while Seattle cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman are appealing their own suspensions while claiming their use of the drug, according to multiple reports.
The New York Times reported over the weekend that the 21 prior suspensions for failed drug tests are the most in one season since the league began testing for performance-enhancing drugs in 1989.
Griffin signed a $2.5 million contract, which included a $1.25 million base salary, with the Redskins in March after spending his first six seasons in Minnesota.
Washington has three other cornerbacks on the active roster. Richard Crawford, a rookie, filled in for Griffin earlier in the season when he missed three games because of a pulled right hamstring, though he has been inactive for the last five games. D.J. Johnson and Jerome Murphy were each signed to the active roster within the past month.
Tanard Jackson, a free safety who the Redskins signed in March and expected to have as a starter this season, failed a drug test before the season and has been suspended indefinitely by the league for his third violation.