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Neal still fighting his suspension, admits to having OCD

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Mike Neal is going to try to appeal his four-game suspension one more time. The Green Bay Packers defensive end said he tested positive for Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit disorder. He said he had a prescription for the drug but didnít go through the Packersí team doctors when he took it last season. And thatís apparently where he ran into trouble. ďIf you look at Adderall, are you going to come in here and run faster, jump higher, block some passes and sack some quarterbacks?Ē Neal said. ďIn my eyes, I didnít do anything wrong. In my eyes, I just went and sought help that I thought I needed. I didnít go through the team; I went through another doctor. If that was my fault for not being responsible and going through the team, that was my fault and Iíll take that. But as far as Iím concerned if you consider Adderall a performance enhancing drug then I think that everybody would be fired for their jobs.Ē In a revealing interview, Neal told the Press-Gazette that he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He said he never before took medication for it but last season he became overwhelmed while trying to live up to expectations as a second-round pick and return from a knee injury that he now admits would have been better served by sitting out last season. Instead, he returned late in the year and played poorly. ďIíve never felt like Iíve needed medication for it,Ē Neal said. ďMy momís like that, too. But that explains what people say about me, Ďyou come in here at 6:30 every morning, you donít sleep, you still here all afternoon.í Thatís just all those with me not being satisfied. It just got in the way. Iím being forced to play; thereís people waiting for me to play and my knee isnít responding the way I want. All that stuff adds up, and it just got the best of me last year.Ē Neal already had one appeal turned away, and itís unclear whether the NFL would even consider hearing another appeal. At least two other NFL players successfully fought a similar suspension. Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann was suspended for taking Ritalin without league approval, and New York Giants running back Andre Brown was suspended for taking Adderall without league approval. Hartmann's suspension was reduced and Brown's was lifted. The Packers say they still have Neal in their plans. ďDefinitely, I think Mikeís a totally different man today than he was when he came back from the injury in training camp,Ē Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. ďHeís more explosive. Heís in great shape. Heís driven. Heís been humbled. Heís gone through some challenges. Iím hopeful, and I see a lot of signs that heíll continue to grow from the situations that heís been† through in the past. It looks like heís back to full strength, and he looks good.Ē

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