Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins Speaks Out on PED Suspension

A major hurdle for the Arizona Cardinals' offense to clear at the start of the 2021-2022 season will be playing without lead wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins due to a six-game suspension for failing a PED (performance-enhancing drug) test.

Talking to Arizona Sports from Saturday's training camps, Hopkins spoke on his situation and generally disagreed with the rigid ruling that will sideline him for a considerable stretch of next season.

Though he maintained that the standards for PED testing are acceptable, Hopkins affirmed that he has never used performance-enhancing substances and was possibly on the wrong end of an anomaly in the system. 

Hopkins is permitted the participate in training camps and preseason games as part of his suspension. He tested positive for a trace amount of Ostarine, which he claims could have stemmed from a meal or common household chemicals.

"I've never taken any of that kind of stuff," Hopkins said, as relayed by Fox News Digital. "If you know about what it is, it can be in shampoo, it can be in a lot of different things. Obviously, the NFL is very black and white, so of course, I wish the rule wasn't so black and white. It is what it is."

"It's hard to know what you can eat, what you can do when you're not in control of manufacturing anything or what goes through a conveyor belt, you know what I'm saying?" Hopkins added.

"So, obviously, I do think that rules should change. But like I said, that stuff, it'll work itself out, and I've never taken anything. I barely take vitamins."

According to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Ostarine has "less influence on the development and balance of male hormones, including testosterone," as well as potentially "treating different health conditions without resulting in the negative side effects of steroids." Positive traces of Ostarine are rising but still remain scant, with only a total of 28 cases detected globally in 2015.

After seven seasons with the Houston Texans, Hopkins climbed his way up the NFL wide receiver ranks to establish himself as one of the best in the game. Arizona viewed Hopkins as a skill player capable of jump-starting Cardinals QB Kyler Murray's progress and traded for the Texans in March 2020.

In his first season with Arizona and the Murray-led offense, Hopkins recorded a career-high 115 receptions, adding 1,407 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Hopkins struggled to post numbers close to his debut in Arizona his second year, mostly due to a nagging hamstring injury that sidelined him for seven games.

The 30-year-old is a five-time Pro Bowler (2015, 2017-2020), two-time pick for second-team All-Pro (2015, 2020) and three-time first-team All-Pro selection (2017-2019).

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Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan. Known for having watched every movie and constant craving for dessert. @alejandroaveela (on X)