Last week it was announced that Kevin Lee was been suspended for 6 months by USADA for testing positive for Adderall. Now he opens up about the situation that led to this suspension, and how it could have all be avoided.
After losing three of his last four fights, times have been tough for Lee. This was only compounded, by the recent announcement that his prescribed Adderall caused him to test hot for USADA prior to his last fight, which has resulted in a 6-month suspension.
While he initially gave his thoughts shortly after news broke, Kevin spoke on The MMA Hour, opening up about the circumstances that led to his suspension. Here he explained that the main reason he got in trouble, was because of a failure to secure a Therapeutic Use Exemption.
“I popped for Adderall in my last fight. I didn’t apply for the TUE like I should’ve. I spoke to (Jeff) Novitzski a couple months before the fight, when I actually was taking the drugs. I told him it was prescribed from a doctor and, he said to apply for the TUE. I thought that I wouldn’t need to because I thought I would get off of it soon enough for the fight, but I guess I still had a small amount in my system left,” Lee said.
“I got a little arrogant in it. I thought that I would be fine without it and that it would get out of my system much faster. But I think with not cutting as much weight… I should’ve applied for the TUE. I still kind of kick myself in the ass because of it, because it’s a legit prescription diagnosis, and I think I went about it in an unprofessional way to get that done.”
Adderall Is Not A PED
One of the criticisms that Kevin Lee has been facing, is the idea that Adderall can be used as a Performance Enhancing Drug. Some naysayers have pointed out that even though Kevin has a diagnosed illness and his medicine is prescribed, the pills themselves are legal narcotics.
In response to those critics, Kevin explained that he got no performance enhancement from taking the Adderall. In fact, he says that he would have been better off smoking the devil’s lettuce, which has been decriminalized from both USADA and several athletic commissions, Rather than taking the risk with his prescription.
“It’s not, it’s not a performance enhancer, at least from what I can tell from it, from using it. It definitely works. It enhances life, for sure, and it helped me solve a lot of issues that I had been dealing with for a really, really long time. It definitely helps you in life but I don’t necessarily know if it ever helped me get bigger, faster, stronger, or even focus more during the fight,” Lee said.
“I think that’s one of the things you can even see during this fight (with Daniel Rodriguez). I kind of lost focus in the second round, and I wish I could’ve been on (Adderall), you know. I probably should’ve just smoked weed or something, then it probably would’ve been a whole lot better.”
Kevin Lee Struggled While Not Training
Kevin Lee went on to explain that he had been diagnosed with ADHD in 2018, but did not start taking the pills until around a year ago. He said that he noticed an immediate change, with the Adderall helping deal with his lack of focus.
It was only when he was on the sidelines due to knee injuries, that he really began struggling and needing to take it. He said that because of the way he is, he was losing focus on his love for MMA, simply because he could not compete.
“I lose track of every f—king thing. I’ve kind of always been that way, and only been interested in the things that really interest me, or if it’s a life or death situation. But that’s not always the best way to be as an adult, you’ve got to be interested in things you can’t do. So when I couldn’t train and I couldn’t just fight my way out of it and just focus on the gym, that’s when some of those issues really just came to the forefront. It’s something that I needed to do to enhance my mental health.”
This is certainly a tough spot for Kevin Lee to be in. That being said, he does seem to be taking it all in stride, and he will be eligible to return in the first quarter of the new year.