Josh Freeman not facing drugs penalty

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman releases a statement clarifying his participation in the NFL's drug programme.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman has released a statement clarifying his participation in the NFL's drug programme.

Freeman, who has a prescription for the usually-banned Adderall to treat ADHD, tested positive in a drugs test last year after accidentally taken Ritalin.

That test prompted the 25-year-old to submit to frequent drug screenings in order to prove that it was a one-off error, resulting in his placement in stage one of the NFL drug programme.

"Let me be very clear. I have never tested positive for any illegal drugs or related substances. Further, I have agreed to take, and have passed 46 NFL-regulated drug tests over the last year and a half. Since the confidentiality of my medical status has been publicly violated, I am choosing to address this matter so that grossly erroneous assumptions about me do not persist," Freeman said in his statement.

"To assure everyone that the [Ritalin] error was a one-time mistake, I agreed to be voluntarily tested in the 'NFL Program'. Since that time, I have taken and passed all 46 drug tests I've been given, which test for every drug and banned substance imaginable. I agreed to allow such testing to be done at my workplace (team facility) because I spend all of my time there and I have nothing whatsoever to hide or be embarrassed about.

"Unfortunately, it appears that some people who may have noticed the testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions and chosen to disseminate inaccurate and very disturbing information. It is a shame that when times have gotten tough, people have chosen to attack the character of others, rather than supporting each other. I remain dedicated and focused to being the best quarterback I can be and to help a team win a championship."

Freeman recently lost his starting job at the Buccaneers to Mike Glennon after a poor start to the season.

Quarterback Mike Glennon #8 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up for play against the Washington Redskins August 29, 2013
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