More players than ever before have come before MLB with a signed doctor's note, swearing they have ADHD, and by the way, they have to take otherwise-banned stimulants. We're skeptical.
One hundred and eight players, almost a tenth of the league, received medical exemptions due to their attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders. That's up slightly from last year, and up from 28 players in 2006. Completely coincidentally, MLB's stimulant ban went into effect in 2006.
While ten percent sounds like a realistic number of ADHD sufferers among Park Slope's helicopter parents, only about 4% of children are affected, with more than half outgrowing it by adulthood. Additionally, these are major league baseball players, who are loath to admit to any psychiatric disorder, and probably would have had a tough time excelling in life as they have had they been serious sufferers.
Besides those 108 players, 12 more without an exemption tested positive for ADHD drugs.
Is there something unique about the sport of baseball that attracts individuals with ADD? I suspect not. It seems to me an excessively high number," said [Dr. Gary] Wadler, chairman of the committee that determines the banned-substances list for the World Anti-Doping Agency.
On the bright side (if you invest in a designer steroid lab), only one player tested positive for steroids in 2009. And, from the Times article,
Two players received exemptions to use performance-enhancing drugs because of hypertension, two for low levels of testosterone, one for narcolepsy, one for obsessive compulsive disorder and one for postconcussion syndrome.
Number of M.L.B. Players Given Drug Exemptions Up Slightly [NY Times]