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Cavs' Tristan Thompson suspended 25 games for violating NBA anti-drug program

The NBA is suspending Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers for 25 games without pay in response to a violation of the league's anti-drug program.

Thompson tested positive for two banned substances, according to Tuesday's statement from the league.

Ibutamoren is used to promote the secretion of human growth hormone and is prohibited by the league due to its ability to increase lean body mass. SARM LGD-4033 (ligandrol) is a selective androgen receptor modulator, another anabolic compound.

It's unclear how long Thompson was utilizing the drugs. The 32-year-old is averaging 3.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 36 games for Cleveland this season. This is his first suspension, and he will lose $726,465, according to Spotrac.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 23: Tristan Thompson #12 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at the United Center on December 23, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. 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 Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers is being punished by the league for utilizing banned substances. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) (Michael Reaves via Getty Images)

The NBA agreed to stop testing players for marijuana in April 2023. It was a continuation of the league's decision to stop testing in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Random drug tests for human growth hormone and performance-enhancers resumed in the "NBA bubble" and have since continued.

Additionally, the league reserves the right to screen for what it calls “drugs of abuse," such as methamphetamine, opiates and cocaine.

Thompson was likely tested Monday after the Cavaliers' 126-99 road win over the Orlando Magic. He recorded four points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 21 minutes.

This is Thompson's second stint with Cleveland after he signed with the team during the offseason. He won a championship with LeBron James and the Cavaliers in 2016.

His 13-year career has also included stops with the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers.

Thompson won't have an immediate opportunity to speak to reporters, as his suspension begins with Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks.