Cavs' Tristan Thompson suspended 25 games for violating NBA's drug policy


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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson was suspended for 25 games for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program, the league said on Tuesday.

Thompson will be suspended without pay after he tested positive for ibutamoren and SARM LGD-4033, according to the NBA. Thompson’s suspension begins Wednesday when the Cavaliers play the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Tristan Thompson gets the rebound

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson rebounds against the New Orleans Pelicans at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Dec. 21, 2023. (David Richard-USA Today Sports)

Ibutamoren is a growth hormone and SARM LGD-4033 is a drug commonly used by body builders and weightlifters for muscle enhancement.

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

The veteran NBA player is in the middle of his second stint with the Cavaliers. He played in 36 games and is averaging 3.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He’s not exactly the same prolific rebounder he was during his first nine seasons with Cleveland, but has still given the team solid minutes.

Tristan Thompson vs Bobby Portis

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson and Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse  in Cleveland, Dec. 29, 2023. (Ken Blaze-USA Today Sports)

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In between stints with the Cavaliers, Thomspon played for the Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls. He rejoined Cleveland before the start of the 2023-24 season.

The Cavaliers are 26-15 this season and are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The team is about three games behind the Bucks for first in the Central Division.

Tristan Thompson drives

Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton defends Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson on Dec. 20, 2023, in Cleveland. (David Richard-USA Today Sports)

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The Cavaliers will have some key decisions to make before the NBA trade deadline. Teams will likely be trying to trade for Donovan Mitchell for the stretch run of the season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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