METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley plans to serve a four-game suspension when the regular season begins because he tested positive for a banned stimulant.
The former Oklahoma kicker said Sunday he obtained the Adderall prescription pills from a former college friend and used them to stay awake while driving at night from Dallas to New Orleans for an offseason workout.
Hartley said he learned of the failed test in a recent letter from the league, and did not plan to appeal. The NFL considers players’ drug tests confidential and does not comment.
"My sincere apology goes out,” Hartley said. "There would never be anything that I would do that would try to hurt the team or definitely my reputation.”
Hartley, in his second season with the Saints, said he was unaware Adderall was on the NFL’s banned substance list. But he stressed that ignorance "was not an excuse.”
"This is definitely a setback,” said the 23-year-old Hartley. "This is a bump in the road, but we’re going to overcome it.”
Saints coach Sean Payton said Hartley’s failed drug test was the primary reason the club signed 45-year-old kicker John Carney on Saturday night.
Hartley appeared to be the answer to reliability problems plaguing the Saints’ kicking game since Carney’s release after the 2006 season. The Saints went through four kickers in the last two seasons, including Olindo Mare, Martin Gramatica and Taylor Mehlhaff before settling on Hartley for the final eight games of 2008. Hartley made all 13 of his field goal attempts.