Dodgers' Lowe has ADD, allowed to take banned drug

Updated: April 5, 2006, 8:27 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Derek Lowe has been diagnosed with attention deficit order and received permission to treat it with medication currently on baseball's banned substance list, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.

 Derek Lowe
Lowe

Details of his diagnosis, which was made while he was pitching for the Boston Red Sox, were revealed in a divorce deposition described by the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Herald and the Web site ronfineman.com.

Lowe declined to talk to the Times about his treatment, which includes the drug Adderall. Adderall is on the list of banned amphetamines but is allowed by Major League Baseball with an approved prescription.

The Dodgers told the paper that team psychiatrist Herndon Harding evaluated Lowe and team physician Michael Mellman prescribed the medication.

In the deposition, Lowe said that Dodgers trainer Stan Johnston gives him 20 milligrams of Adderall a day. According to the deposition, Red Sox team physician Bill Morgan prescribed Ritalin to treat Lowe's ADD three years ago.

Baseball is testing for amphetamines for the first time this year, part of the fourth straight season of toughened drug rules. Players who test positive for the first time will be sent for counseling. A second positive test would result in a 25-game suspension.

Lowe lost on Opening Day, allowing eight runs in five innings as the Braves beat the Dodgers 11-10 Monday.

Earlier this spring, the 32-year-old right-hander acknowledged that the breakup of his marriage after his wife made public his relationship with former Los Angeles television sports anchor Carolyn Hughes and said it affected his play in his first season with the Dodgers.

Lowe claims Hughes didn't cause the demise of his marriage. The two are still together.

"We didn't leave our spouses for each other, which people believe we did," he said. "She was going through a divorce. It wasn't a fling. There's no guarantee, but it wasn't just a fling.

"The main people in my life, they knew what was going on for months upon months upon months. They knew we were having a hard time for a long time. That was the 100 percent thing. It wasn't anyone else that led to the breakup -- absolutely not."

With all that was going on, the 6-foot-6 Lowe said he went from 235 pounds to 216 in a span of 2½ months during the season.

"You're not eating, you're not sleeping -- the stress of the whole thing," he said. "It was a tough situation. To add even more toughness to it is the way it was handled, the amount of people who knew about it.

"You learn about people -- the players on the team last year were great, the way they were such good friends."

Lowe went 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA in his last eight starts last season to finish 12-15 with a 3.61 ERA. Much was made about his moving from one side of the rubber to the other. He begs to differ, saying it was more a matter of getting his life together.

Lowe signed a four-year, $36 million contract to play for the Dodgers in the wake of winning the final game of Boston's three postseason series to help the Red Sox earn their first World Series championship in 86 years.

While Lowe was struggling personally, the Dodgers were mostly losing. After a 12-2 start, they hit the skids, finishing 71-91 for their second-poorest record since moving west from Brooklyn in 1958.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.