The NBA season just started, but last year’s top pick, Deandre Ayton, will now miss a considerable amount during his sophomore campaign. On Thursday, it was reported that Ayton has received a 25-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.
So what is the banned diuretic that got Deandre Ayton suspended?
Ayton suspended 25 games for 2019-20 season
Per ESPN’s report, Ayton’s suspension was due to a violation of the NBA-NBPA’s anti-drug policy due to testing positive for a diuretic. It was also noted that the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is planning to file papers to have the suspension reduced or rescinded under a collective bargaining agreement that mentions “unintentional ingestion.”
NBA suspends Suns center Deandre Ayton for 25 games without pay for testing positive for a diuretic. pic.twitter.com/KN78oCKp1X
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) October 25, 2019
The suspension news comes after Ayton had a brilliant performance in the Phoenix Suns’ season-opening victory. Last year’s No. 1 draft pick had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks in the 124-95 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Ayton released a statement upon the revelation of his 25-game suspension to apologize to his “family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community.” He also mentioned that he’ll continue to work with the NBPA for a “positive resolution.”
More Ayton: “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 NBPA to go through arbitration and am hopeful of a positive resolution.” https://t.co/LShm244MnD
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 25, 2019
What is a diuretic and why did it get Ayton suspended?
So what exactly is a diuretic? Per Healthline, diuretics are also called “water pills” and are used to increase the amount of water and salt that the body gets rid of as urine.
There are three types of prescribed diuretics: Thiazide, Loop, and potassium-sparing versions. Typically, they are prescribed to treat high blood pressure. There are also natural versions, including herbal and plant-based diuretics such as hawthorn and parsley as well as green and black teas.
During an episode of Dr. Oz, they spoke about using natural diuretics to help deal with bloating.
The reason the NBA-NBPA policy has diuretics on the list of suspendable offenses is that they can mask players using other banned substances. ESPN’s report mentioned that follow-up testing didn’t reveal any traces of other substances in Deandre Ayton’s system.
It’s unknown what type of diuretics were found in Ayton’s system, but the testing revealed enough to warrant him being suspended under league policy. The NBPA’s “unintentional ingestion” comments are also intriguing, leaving interpretation open as to what Ayton’s situation was.
The suspension takes effect starting on Friday with the Suns’ game against the Denver Nuggets.
Should Deandre Ayton’s suspension hold up, it could mean he loses more than $2 million in salary for the 25 games he misses. It could also hurt a Phoenix Suns team that might have been on the rise behind last year’s top pick.
The NBPA has an option to expedite two cases per year in the league and will most likely use one of those to try to resolve Ayton’s suspension.