Allonzo Trier ‘shocked’ by failed PED test, can play when substance is out of system
Arizona Wildcats sophomore Allonzo Trier has been suspended for the first 18 games of the 2016-17 season due to a failed test for performance-enhancing drugs, multiple sources told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
Trier released a statement to confirm the report and professed that he innocently and accidentally took a banned substance.
“Earlier this season, I was notified that I tested positive for a trace amount of a banned performance-enhancing drug following an NCAA random test and I was shocked,” he said in the school’s release. “I have never knowingly taken a banned substance. After finding out that I was given a banned substance by a well-intentioned, but misguided person not associated with the University after an injury, I presented this information to the NCAA.
“The NCAA agreed that I had no knowledge of receiving the substance and my eligibility was restored,” he added. “Although I can practice and travel with the team, I am not allowed to resume playing in games until the substance completely leaves my body even at a trace amount. Unfortunately, I am unsure of when that time will be, but I hope it is soon.”
As of now, there is no timeline for an eventual return, which is why Arizona coach Sean Miller has remained hopeful but without knowledge of a potential debut for Trier. The levels of the unspecified drug has reportedly decreased. He’s been retested dating back to October when the Wildcats were informed of the failed drug test that occurred a month prior.
“I want to thank my family, coaches, teammates, my attorney and the athletics department for their support during this difficult time,” Trier said in the school release. “I will not have any further comment at this time. In addition, I have asked the athletics department to respect my privacy by not answering any questions or releasing any information beyond this statement.”
Trier averaged 14.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists for Arizona as a freshman. He shot 47 percent overall and 36 percent from three while getting to the foul stripe 5.4 times per game and shooting 79 percent there.
The saga surrounding the 6-foot-5 guard, who decided to return to school for his sophomore season rather than jump to NBA, has been one of the more compelling storylines surrounding the No. 14 team in the country as it’s gone 16-2 despite losing Trier.
The Wildcats also have played without forward Ray Smith, whose preseason ACL injury ended with his retirement from basketball.
Arizona has 13 games remaining in the regular season.