Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins wishes the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs was not so “black and white,” he told reporters Saturday after training camp practice.
Hopkins is set to serve a six-game suspension for violating the policy, which he says is due to 0.134% Ostarine being found in his blood while the threshold is 0.100%.
The All-Pro receiver maintains that the substance was a contaminant, noting it can sometimes find its way into shampoo, and that he is not one to take supplements.
“I’ve never taken any of that kind of stuff,” Hopkins said. “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 when something gets contaminated at a trace amount when you’re not working at the manufacturing company.”
Hopkins said he never pinpointed where the contamination came from despite trying to figure that out.
He appealed the suspension and later dropped it, but he said those details are for another day.
Hopkins noted, though, he fought as long as he could and would have liked more time to do so.
“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 said. “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.”
The suspension alters how Hopkins prepares for the upcoming season. He’s already had a different offseason than usual recovering from his first major injury in the NFL (knee).
Hopkins said his plan is to mimic what the Cardinals are doing in practice during the six-week suspension so that he can slide back in when activated.
“The strength training coach and the rehab guys, they’re on the same page, so I think it’s a great plan,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins will ramp up during training camp slower than usual since he’s not playing early on, but he said a bright side to the situation is he’ll be healthy with 11 games to work with.