A bad combination of drugs and steroids are blamed for the tragic descent from football star to prison convict for former Edmonton Eskimo Adam True Braidwood.
According to court documents obtained by Sun Media, Braidwood — the first overall CFL draft pick in 2006 — first began abusing painkillers and then street drugs because of two serious knee injuries he suffered on the gridiron.
Then, after having to seriously bulk up when the Eskimos decided to move him from a defensive end position to a tackle position, Braidwood turned to anabolic steroids.
The Vancouver-area athlete then began spiralling out of control, getting into mixed martial arts, hanging out with unsavoury characters and exhibiting strange behaviour.
The end result was the 29-year-old being sentenced to a total of five-and-a-half years in prison as a result of him pleading guilty to various and separate offences in Edmonton, Stony Plain and Port Coquitlam, B.C.
“It’s a tragic story,” said defence lawyer Kris Pechet in sentencing submissions to a Stony Plain judge on Sept. 10 when Braidwood pleaded guilty to unlawful confinement and was handed a three-year concurrent sentence.
Pechet says Braidwood “turned to drugs to medicate emotional and physical problems” after sustaining an injury at the end of 2007. He also began using Benzodiazepine tranquilizers, Zantac, Ativan and Valium to self-medicate his anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia.
Braidwood turned to anabolic steroids after the Eskimos decided to move him to an inside position on the line as a tackle and developed a cocaine addiction after turning to the drug to elevate his mood and necessary aggression due to the sedating effects of the painkillers.
He got into mixed martial arts for training purposes and began hanging out with “nefarious” people, said Pechet, adding he ended up owing money and favours to bad guys.
Braidwood, who appeared by closed circuit TV from the B.C. prison where he is serving his time, apologized.
“I am paying for the mistakes I’ve made and I do hope to redeem myself in the future and I do have plans for the future,” said Braidwood, who was released by the Eskimos on April 21, 2012.