Memphis’ O.J. Mayo has tested positive for a banned substance and has been suspended 10 games by the NBA, the league announced Thursday.
Mayo tested positive for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA is a hormone naturally occurring in the body, secreted by the adrenal gland, according to the Mayo Clinic (no irony intended). The body then coverts DHEA into testosterone in men (or estrogen in women). It is available over the counter as a health supplement since 1994 (although there are bills in congress to make it a controlled substance). It also has been used to treat Lupus, depression and some other ailments.
DHEA is banned by virtually every major sporting or sports drug testing organization in the world. That said, clinical studies have shown it to be not very effective as a steroid for building muscle.
“It was an honest mistake, but I take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to my fans, teammates and the Grizzlies organization for regrettably not doing the necessary research about what supplements I can put in my body,” Mayo said in a statement released by the Grizzlies.
The 10-game suspension will cost Mayo a little more than $400,000.
While team owner Michael Heisley has denied it, there are reports that the Grizzlies have checked out the trade value of Mayo. Which you can safely bet just went down a lot.
Richard Lewis, now of the Washington Wizards, tested positive for DHEA back in 2009.