The 2018 No. 1 NBA draft pick was suspended 25 games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy for testing positive for a banned diuretic.
The Phoenix Suns will be without center Deandre Ayton for the start of the regular season. The NBA announced the former Arizona big man’s suspension Thursday.
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“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,” Suns general manager James Jones said in a statement. “This does not uphold the standards and principles we have set for the team.”
Ayton apologized in a statement.
“I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community,” he said. “This was an unintentional mistake and unfortunately I put something in my body that I was completely unaware of.”
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He added: “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 Players’ Union (NBPA) to go through the arbitration process and am hopeful for a positive resolution.”
Ayton played in the Suns’ first game of the season and had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the win.
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He will not be able to return until Dec. 17 when the team takes on the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
SOURCE : https://www.foxnews.com/sports/suns-deandre-ayton-suspended-anti-drug-violation