Suns’ C DeAndre Ayton releases statement following 25-game suspension

Oct 23, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (35) in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton released a statement following his 25-game suspension after testing positive for a diuretic.

In the statement released by ESPN’s Adriaan Wojnarowski, Ayton apologized for the positive test and said it was an “unintentional mistake” from something he put in his body.

Ayton and the NBA Players Association are reportedly planning to fight the suspension in arbitration. According to ESPN, Ayton underwent follow-up testing, which showed no traces of other banned substances.

Any absence would be a substantial blow for the Suns. Ayton dominated in the team’s season-opening win with 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks against the Sacramento Kings. It remains to be seen if his appeal would be successful.