The Phoenix Suns are in trouble.
According to a release from the NBA, former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton has been suspended for 25 games after violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. Players are required to submit to drug testing from time-to-time, and Ayton apparently came back with a positive test for a diuretic.
Diuretics are a thinning agent used to mask potential drug use in professional athletes. Even their presence, in the absence of actual drugs, is banished by the NBA.
This has serious consequences for the Suns. He’s a high-profile player, and basketball as a sport has largely ducked talk of performance-enhancing drugs in comparison to the NFL and MLB. Phoenix was hoping Ayton’s development would continue as the season sparked off, but now they’ll have to wait more than a quarter of the season for him to return.
Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Ayton will be mounting a defense alongside the NBPA, and Suns fans will be holding out hope that he can provide some other science that doesn’t make him look guilty.