Tristan Thompson: Former NBA champion suspended without pay for 25 games after violating NBA’s drug policy


Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson has been suspended by the NBA for 25 games without pay for violating the league’s anti-drug program.

In a statement issued by the NBA, Thompson was suspended for “violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program by testing positive for ibutamoren and SARM LGD-4033.”

His suspension will begin with Wednesday’s game between the Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks.

CNN has reached out to Thompson’s representatives for comment.

According to the NBA, Thompson tested positive for ibutamoren, which can increase growth hormone secretions, and SARM LGD-4033, also known as ligandrol, a selective androgen receptor modulator that mimics testosterone. Neither substance has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and both are on the list of substance prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The Cavs addressed the matter with a statement on their website and social media.

“The Cleveland Cavaliers fully support the NBA/NBAPA Anti-Drug Program, and we are disappointed in the recent news surrounding Tristan Thompson,” the organization wrote. “His time away from game action will have an impact on our team. We stand behind Tristan and offer our support throughout this suspension period.”

The 32-year-old Thompson has spent time with six different teams in his 13-year NBA career. He was drafted fourth overall by Cleveland in 2011, playing nine seasons with the franchise and – alongside LeBron James – was part of the team that won the organization’s first NBA championship in 2016, coming from 3-1 down in the Finals to defeat the Golden State Warriors in seven games.

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks with teammate Tristan Thompson #13 during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 17, 2015 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Thunder 104-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

After leaving the team following the 2019/20 season, he had short spells with the Boston Celtics, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers before returning to the Cavs on a one-year deal in 2023.

Thompson – an Ontario, Canada, native – is averaging 3.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game for Cleveland this season.

The Cavs will be hoping that Thompson’s suspension does not disrupt their recent rhythm, having reignited their season despite losing Darius Garland and Evan Mobley to injuries.

Fueled by the stellar play of All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland has won eight straight games and is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference.

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