Nick Kyrgios has underlined that he is not using ADHD medication amid rumors of widespread use of Adderall among top tennis players. This week, the TIU announced that Fernando Verdasco accepted a two-month suspension after one of his tests from earlier this year contained methylphenidate - an ADHD medication.
According to the TIU, Verdasco was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed meds by his physician - but he failed a doping test after forgetting to renew his Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) when it expired. The Verdasco case drew lots of attention as some players openly indicated that there is a good number of players on the ATP Tour falsely claiming they have ADHD so they can legally take meds that help them sharpen their focus and concentration.
"Through grape vines of pro tennis, I hear that many players are on ADHD meds to help sharpen focus and concentration in a manner that brings up integrity questions. Are ADHD meds the meldonium for the brain? Wonder how many current players have asked for a TUE for ADHD recently?" former Grand Slam doubles champion Pam Shriver tweeted.
According to Ben Rothenberg, he was told by an ATP player that around half of the top-100 players are using ADHD meds. "Re: adderall in tennis, one ATP player told me today he estimates 'half of top 100 is on it, maybe more.'
And not because they have trouble focusing while doing their homework. Lots of cynicism about the TUE system within the locker room," Rothenberg tweeted.
Kyrgios: I'm not taking ADHD meds
Responding to Rothenberg's tweet, Kyrgios said: "Lol not me."
Adderall is a medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Lol not me — Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) December 2, 2022
Following the Verdasco news, American tennis star Reilly Opelka tweeted: "One of the biggest issues in tennis. Why are guys taking adderall for the first time in their life as adults? Legal doping." It remains to be seen if the TIU will make any changes following the reaction that the Verdasco news garnered.