Freeman responds to substance-abuse report

The SportsXchange

Once the face of the franchise, quarterback Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving in opposite directions.

Freeman, the benched former first-round pick who watched last week's game from a private suite at the team's recommendation, wants out of a situation growing darker by the day.

Freeman responded Monday to what he said were team leaks about his participation in Stage One of the NFL substance abuse program.

He said he takes prescription Adderall to treat ADHD and accidentally took unprescribed Ritalin, causing a positive test for a banned substance. He claims he voluntarily enrolled in the random testing program to prove he is clean.

"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," Freeman said in his statement. "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."

Freeman said he took every test at the Buccaneers' team facility and insinuates someone who observered his drug tests on site leaked the information to tarnish his reputation.

"Let me be very clear. I have NEVER tested positive for any illegal drugs or related substances," Freeman wrote in a statement released Monday. "Further, I have agreed to take, and have PASSED 46 NFL-regulated drug tests over the last year-and-a-half."

Freeman is on the trading block but his value diminished since the start of the season. In the final year of his contract, Freeman and his agent said they "might be willing" to restructure his deal if a trade can be worked out to get him out of Tampa Bay. Freeman is owed more than $6 million for the remainder of the 2013 season.
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