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Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins denies any wrongdoing for failed PED test: 'It wasn’t on me'

Sporting News logo Sporting News 6/23/2022 David Suggs

Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has broken his silence about his failed drug test that led to a six-game suspension from the NFL and what exactly it is he took that led to it.

The substance found in his body is called ostarine, a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARMs) that is not approved for human use or consumption in the U.S. or any other country.

Hopkins was suspended six games of the 2022 season for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. Hopkins said he was surprised that he tested positive, even going as far to claim he avoids supplements and vitamins.

“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. 

Here's the skinny on Hopkins' suspension, as well as details about ostarine, the illegal substance he is purported to have taken:

MORE: Two of Kyler Murray's former teammates slam Cardinals' lacking 'culture', believe QB will play elsewhere

What is ostarine?

Hopkins tested positive for a banned substance back in November. According to Hopkins, that substance was ostarine, an anabolic agent that has become increasingly popular among athletes.

Ostarine is a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator. It's linked with effectively treating medical conditions without the negative drawbacks of steroids, stimulating androgen receptors in an effort to spark muscle gain. Hopkins missed eight games in 2021 with hamstring issues and a torn MCL in his knee.


Video: Pelissero: 'Not much' DeAndre Hopkins can do to reduce 2022 suspension (NFL)

SARMs, like ostarine, have also been found to have less of an impact on the regulation of male hormones, including testosterone.

The World Anti-Doping Agency placed ostarine on its banned substances list, meaning it is prohibited in sport. It is not available by medical prescription, and while ostarine can be contained in many products, those products are illegal. Ostarine is not legally permitted in the U.S. or any other country, so the only way to acquire ostarine — or a substance containing ostarine — is through the black market.

Hopkins said that the NFL found a trace of ostarine in his system. He denied any wrongdoing in the immediate aftermath of his suspension, vowing to work with his team to "to investigate how this could've happened." Hopkins did not appeal the suspension.

He doubled down on Wednesday, claiming that the failed test wasn't his fault.

It wasn’t on me. I’m pretty much a naturopathic person.

How long is DeAndre Hopkins suspended?

Hopkins will be suspended of the first six games of the 2022 NFL season. It's a major blow for the Cardinals, who picked up quarterback Kyler Murray's option in an attempt to cement its core.

They'll have to make due without Hopkins, a player who is capable of putting up All-Pro statlines at his best.

Hopkins told reporters he believed his teammates could step up in his absence.

“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.”

MORE: Cardinals schedule 2022: Dates & times for all 17 games

Those six games will certainly present a challenge to Kliff Kingsbury's bunch. The Cardinals take on the Chiefs, Raiders and Rams in the opening three weeks of the season — three sides that made it to the postseason in 2021, including the eventual Super Bowl champion. 

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