The Phoenix Suns were looking forward to having a promising 2019-20 season, but it has gotten off to a bumpy start already. Thursday (Oct.24), the NBA announced it has banned Suns center Deandre Ayton for testing positive for a banned diuretic. ESPN’s NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski, dropped the jaw-dropping Wojbomb revealing the ban will begin starting today with the Suns’ game against the Denver Nuggets.
Diuretics are often used by athletes to mask PED (performance-enhancing drugs) and banned substances in anticipation of upcoming tests.
Wojnarowski reports that the NBPA will appeal the decision utilizing the collective bargaining provision of “unintentional ingestion” of a substance. A follow-up test was already administered, and it showed no signs of other banned substances. In a statement issued to Wojnarowski, Ayton apologized to the Suns, his teammates, partners, and fans.
“I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns’ organization, my teammates, partners, our fans, and the Phoenix community. 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.”
Ayton was the no.1 pick of last year’s NBA draft with analysts predicting he would have a breakout 2019-20 season. During his rookie campaign, he averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting at a 58.5 percent clip. His suspension came following a Suns victory over the Sacramento Kings, where he logged in 18 points and 10 rebounds on 9-of-14 shooting.
We hope this was unintentional like Ayton claims it is, and he can get back on the court as soon as possible.
Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty