Players in the NBA rarely use anabolic drugs. That trend continues, but the Detroit Piston's Lindsey Hunter wanted to de-bulk up. He tested positive for the banned anorexic drug phentermine. Story at CBS Sportsline.
"I'm as shocked as anyone," Hunter said after arriving at the Palace on Wednesday. "It was a diet pill -- we've all taken stuff and nothing ever happens."
Hunter said the pill was prescribed for his wife Ivy.
"We do that at our house -- if I've got a head cold, I might grab one of her pills," he said. "It was just a bonehead mistake on my part."
Phentermine is listed as a steroid or performance-enhancing drug under the league's Anti-Drug program and brings an automatic 10-game penalty for a first positive test.
Phentermine is chemically similar to amphetamine, With actions like amphetamine to produce stimulation, improved concentration, and anorexia, the drug is regulated by the FDA.
Phentermine could be a dangerous drug for an athlete. Combined with fenfluramine, this drug was marketed as Phen-fen which led to cardiac valve problems, and sudden death.
Hunter began his suspension Wednesday night when the Pistons faced the Cleveland Cavaliers and will lose more than $202,000.
"It's the league rule, and I have to abide by it," he said. "I just hope people don't think I'm out smoking marijuana."
Cannabis would be safer than phentermine. We will check on this, however athletes really should be checked out before taking these substances. Several years ago, ephedrine, taken as a supplement was implicated in several athlete's death. Although usually safe, these compounds (which manipulate the adrenergic system, or release dopamine/norepinephrine) can have serious cardiac side effects.
The use of this compound for weight loss is somewhat suspicious.