By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The NBA announced that Deandre Ayton has been suspended for 25 games without pay after testing positive for a diuretic. On its part, the NBPA is planning to appeal arguing that the violation of NBA’s anti-drug policy was due to an “unintentional ingestion”, an exception in the collective bargaining agreement, per ESPN.
The National Basketball Players Association hopes to at least reduce the 25-game ban and get his back in action as soon as possible. However, Ayton will likely miss the Phoenix Suns’ upcoming matches.
“I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community,” said the Bahamian big, ESPN relays. “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,” he added, “I will continue to work with the NBPA to go through arbitration and am hopeful of a positive resolution.”
“On behalf of the Phoenix Suns organization, Monty Williams and I are disappointed in the actions by Deandre Ayton that led to his testing positive for a banned diuretic and subsequent suspension by the NBA. This does not uphold the standards and principles we have set for the team.” mentioned Suns general manager James Jones.
He added: “Deandre has expressed his deepest remorse. While he is suspended we remain committed to his growth and development on and off the court. His actions are not taken lightly, and we are committed to ensuring that Deandre understands the profound impact it has had on the team, organization, and Suns community.”
Ayton tipped off his 2019-20 NBA regular season run with 18 points, 11 rebounds and four rejections in the win versus the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. He notched 16.3 points and 10.3 boards per contest in his rookie NBA season.