Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he takes any accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs as a compliment.
“Seriously. Especially with the amount of work I put in,” Peterson said in an interview with USA Today Sports. “Guys say that to me, or if I hear someone saying that — it makes me feel good.
“When you know you don’t do it, and someone’s saying you do, you’re like, ‘Wow. They think I’m on HGH? I’m doing that good? Well, hoo! Thank you, Jesus!’ It’s a compliment. I don’t get mad about it at all.”
Peterson suffered a torn ACL and MCL late in the 2011 season, nine months later he rushed for more than 2,000 yards and almost broke Eric Dickerson’s record.
A recovery that short for such a bad knee injury had previously been unheard of in the NFL, which led some to believe that Peterson used HGH or another performance-enhancing drug.
“People are trying to get the edge,” said Peterson, who has stated that his goal is to rush for 2,500 yards this season.
“The reality of it is, people are trying to provide for their families. People are trying to keep their spot on the rosters. If it’s something they can use that’s not going to show up, they’re going to use it.”
Last month, Peterson said he was looking forward to the day when the league begins to test players.
“I’m all in for it,” he said. “I don’t worry about those types of supplements, using those, because I’m all natural. I work hard. This right here, it’s a test for me personally, that I know that, ‘Hey, I’m clean as a whistle,’ and other guys as well. And then, like I say, it’ll bring some guys to the forefront and be like, ‘Hey, I guess this is how this guy’s been performing so well.’”
The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed on all procedural aspects of human growth hormone testing, but the appeals process and the presence of a neutral arbitrator have not yet been agreed upon. The hope still remains that HGH testing will be implemented in 2013.