The NBA has announced a 25-game suspension for Phoenx Suns center Deandre Ayton.
The 2018 No. 1 overall pick was cited for a violation of the league’s anti-drug policy, according to a statement released tonight.
Ayton, 21, tested positive for a diuretic, a regulated substance thatcan be used as a masking agent for banned substances before testing.
Follow-up tests revealed no traces of other banned substances, so it is likely that the NBA Players Association (NBPA) will try to get a reduced suspension under the “unintentional ingestion” provision provided by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Ayton’s suspension will begin tomorrow when the Suns take on the Denver Nuggets.
If the suspension is upheld, it will cost Ayton roughly $2.2 million in salary.
Ayton released a statement shortly after the news began to circulate on social media.
“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 let my team down.
“I will continue to work with the NBPA to go through the arbitration process and I’m hopeful for a positive resolution.”