Suns center Deandre Ayton suspended for 25 games after testing positive for diuretic

Written by on October 24, 2019

Deandre Ayton was suspended without pay for “violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, has been suspended for 25 games for violating the NBA-NBPA’s anti-drug policy with a positive test for a diuretic, the league announced Thursday night.

The NBPA plans to file arbitration papers immediately on behalf of Ayton, believing that there will be a case to have the penalty reduced or rescinded based on a collective bargaining agreement provision of “unintentional ingestion,” league sources told ESPN.

Diuretics are banned because they can mask performance-enhancing drug use. Sources with knowledge of Ayton’s testing told ESPN that follow-up testing on him showed no traces of any other banned substances.

The NBPA has the ability to expedite two cases a year with the league, and sources say it’s likely the union will use one of them on Ayton to try to get him back on the court as soon possible.

“I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community,” Ayton said in a statement. “This was an unintentional mistake and unfortunately I put something in my body that I was completely unaware of.

“I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that I am deeply sorry. I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve let my team down.

“I will continue to work with the NBPA to go through arbitration and am hopeful of a positive resolution.”

His suspension will begin with tomorrow’s game against the Denver Nuggets. 

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