NFLPA: DeAndre Hopkins Didn't Use Diuretic, Masking Agent Before Drug Suspension

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 19, 2022

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The NFL suspended Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on May 2 for six games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Amid its statement on the matter, the league said Hopkins tested positive for a "prohibited substance plus a diuretic or masking agent/attempt to substitute, dilute or adulterate a specimen/attempt to manipulate a test result."

However, the NFLPA released a statement Tuesday saying that Hopkins "never tested positive for any diuretic or masking agent and there was absolutely no evidence of any attempt to substitute, dilute or adulterate any specimen or any attempt to manipulate a test."

Hopkins denied knowingly taking any banned substances in a May 2 tweet:

Deandre Hopkins @DeAndreHopkins

See you Week 7. <a href="https://t.co/rHTofEx7jK">pic.twitter.com/rHTofEx7jK</a>

His brand manager, Doug Sanders, also released comments on the matter:

"Today the NFL announced their decision to suspend DeAndre Hopkins as a result of a November drug test that came back with trace elements of a banned substance. DeAndre and everyone who works with him is completely shocked by this finding because he is extremely diligent about what he puts in his body. His October and December tests were negative and we are investigating how the November test came back positive. DeAndre is committed to demonstrating that he did not knowingly take a banned substance. He has never once tested positive throughout his 10-year career.

"We're currently testing every product he used to figure out how this could have happened and will release any new information as soon as we have it."

Hopkins will not be appealing the suspension, per ESPN's Adam Schefter and Josh Weinfuss.

In late June, Hopkins spoke more about the suspension with reporters at then-Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee's charity softball game and revealed the banned substance that led to it.

"Hopefully before the season starts maybe we can get the games down a little bit," he told reporters.

"It wasn't on me. I'm pretty much a naturopathic person. What it was is it's called ostarine. There was 0.1% found in my system. If you know what that is, you know it's contamination—not something directly taken.

"I don't take any supplements, I've never taken supplements. I barely take vitamins. So for something like that to happen to me, obviously I was shocked but my team and I, we're still trying to figure out what's going on."

Hopkins, a five-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro, has 789 catches for 10,581 yards and 68 touchdowns over his nine-year career. He will be eligible to return Oct. 20 against the New Orleans Saints. Without him, the Cardinals will turn to newly acquired Marquise Brown, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, as their top wideout. Rondale Moore and A.J. Green should round out the top three on the wideout depth chart for the time being.


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