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Deandre Ayton says testing positive for diuretic was ‘unintentional mistake’

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game against the Sacramento Kings at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Kings 124-95.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

In his first time speaking to the media since being suspended 25 games, Deandre Ayton commented on testing positive for a diuretic.

“I know what I did,” he said to the assembled media before Tuesday night’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, his return game. “It was the biggest mistake, and unintentional mistake that happened in my life and it’s just something to learn from and just build from it. It’s a mistake and everybody makes mistakes.

“It’s just how you bounce back. I think that’s what everybody is waiting for. I already did my time so I’m here.”

Ayton attempted to clarify how the diuretic wound up in his system.

“I did not know what went in my body, or what I put in my body,” he said. “That’s it. I was guilty of it. It is what it is.”

As for what he learned from the sequence of events, Ayton was brief, but offered a little bit of insight as to how this ended up occurring.

“Closing the circle much tighter and, well, probably cooking my own food, maybe,” he said. “That’s about it.”

Ayton, 21, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He had a successful rookie season, averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds, doing so on the best true shooting percentage of any rookie that posted a double-double average in league history.

He played in the Suns’ opener on Oct. 23 against the Sacramento Kings, posting 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. The day after the game, news broke of Ayton’s suspension through ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi. That included a statement from Ayton, who also had his in the Suns’ own statement released an hour later. He would then proceed to not comment through any avenues until an interview with Fox Sports Arizona aired on Monday.

Ayton did not wind up going through an appeal process, telling Fox Sports Arizona that he didn’t want to be a distraction after talking to the players union and the franchise.

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