Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said the traces of an illegal substance that was detected in his system during a November NFL drug test was ostarine, a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) that is not approved for human use or consumption in the U.S. or in any other country.
Hopkins’ positive drug test violated the NFL’s policy regarding performance enhancing drugs and resulted in a six-game suspension to start the 2022 season.
“There was 0.1 percent found in my system,” Hopkins said. “If you know what that is, you know it’s contamination, not something taken directly. 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.”
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Hopkins made his remarks to reporters on Wednesday while attending Suns center JaVale McGee’s charity softball game at Chase Field.
Typically, SARMs are used to create anabolic activity and enhance muscle growth by directly stimulating androgen receptors. Hopkins missed eight games last season due to hamstring issues and a torn medial collateral ligament in his knee that required season-ending surgery.
As he did during a statement on social media when the suspension was originally announced in early May, Hopkins on Wednesday again claimed he doesn’t know how ostarine, even a small trace of it, got into his system.
“It wasn’t on me,” he said. “I’m pretty much a naturopathic person.”
Hopkins told reporters Wednesday he hopes there was a way his suspension could be reduced before the start of the season, but considering how he already has withdrawn his appeal to the NFL, it’s doubtful a reduction of the six games is possible.
As for having to serve the suspension, “It is what it is,” he said.
“I’m a competitor, so any time I’m not on the field, for me, it’s frustrating,” he added. “That’s the NFL. It’s next man up. I have no doubt in those guys to win those six games until I’m ready.”
Hopkins did not participate in any on-field drills with the Cardinals during offseason workouts, including the team’s recently completed mandatory mini-camp. He worked out on the side with trainers, however.
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said Hopkins and his surgically repaired knee would be ready for the start of training camp, although the team will be careful how much it uses him during the preseason. Hopkins is allowed to participate in training camp and play in preseason games, but once the season starts he must remain away from the Cardinals completely for six full weeks.
“He’s close,” Kingsbury said. “We’re being really cautious obviously with him not playing the first six weeks and that’s been our biggest thing, putting together a plan through training camp, through the next four weeks that doesn’t build him up and ramp him up like he’s about to play Week 1.
“So, we have a good plan, but he looks great, he’s excited. I know he’s frustrated he can’t play the first six, but like I’ve said before, I think we’ll get the best version of him those last 11 and it’ll be fun to watch.”