Harbaugh: 'If you cheat to win, then you've already lost'
"It has no place in an athlete's body." -- Jim Harbaugh on performance-enhancing drugs (USA TODAY IMAGES)
SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday said the 49ers feel extra pressure to play by the rules.
That has been an issue for the Seattle Seahawks, who have had an NFL-worst five players suspended for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs since December 2011. One 49ers player, Larry Grant, received a four-game suspension during that time. Grant remains a free agent.
"Is it a concern? I've definitely noticed it," said Harbaugh when asked about the Seahawks' problems.
"You don't know what it is. I mean, even when people say what it is, you don't know that's what it is. It's this thrown out or it's that. But that's usually the agents or the players themselves saying, for example, Adderall. The NFL doesn't release what it actually is. You have no idea. You're taking somebody at their word and I'm not sure you can take them at their word, understanding the circumstances."
Defensive end Bruce Irvin was the latest Seattle player suspended for reported use of Adderall. Irvin will miss the Week 2 game against the 49ers. Another Seattle player, cornerback Richard Sherman, won his appeal of a four-game suspension last season due to irregularities in the testing process.
"It has no place in an athlete's body," Harbaugh said. "Play by the rules and you always want to be above reproach, especially when you're good because you don't want people to come back and say, 'They're winning because they're cheating.' That's always going to be a knee-jerk reaction from people I've found in my experience every since I was a little kid.
Harbaugh then cited his former coach at Michigan.
"So we want to be above reproach in everything and do everything by the rules. Because if you cheat to win, you've already lost, according to Bo Schembechler. . . That's a constant theme."