Suns’ Ayton busted for using illegal substance

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

According to ESPN, Phoenix Suns second-year big man Deandre Ayton has been suspended for 25 games. The announcement game after the Suns played their first game of the season on Wednesday.

Ayton has been suspended for using a diuretic. The National Basketball Players Association has already planned an appeal for Ayton.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton handles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers
Deandre Ayton handles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers (Getty Images)

ESPN is reporting that with this immediate appeal, the suspension could be reduced or rescinded. The NBPA believes they have a cause under the provision of “unintentional ingestion.”

Typically, diuretics are used as a masking agent to cover up performance-enhancing substances. However, ESPN is reporting there was no ‘traces of any other banned substances’ in Ayton’s body.

The NBPA will try to get Ayton back on the board. The Suns return to action on Friday; however, it is unlikely, he will be playing in that contest.

In the season-opener, Ayton had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks in a win over the Sacramento Kings. With the suspension — if it is upheld — it will lose $2.17 million.

“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.”

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