AllSportsTucson.com’s Anthony Gimino contributed to this report
Following an ESPN report Wednesday night, Arizona Wildcats guard Allonzo Trier broke his silence about his unspecified eligibility issue. In it, he confirmed much of the original report from Jeff Goodman.
Here is Trier’s statement, released by the University of Arizona:
Earlier this season, I was notified that I tested positive for a trace amount of a banned performance-enhancing drug following an NCAA random test and I was shocked. I have never knowingly taken a banned substance. After finding out that I was given a banned substance by a well-intentioned, but misguided person not associated with the University after an injury, I presented this information to the NCAA. The NCAA agreed that I had no knowledge of receiving the substance and my eligibility was restored. Although I can practice and travel with the team, I am not allowed to resume playing in games until the substance completely leaves my body even at a trace amount. Unfortunately, I am unsure of when that time will be, but I hope it is soon.
I want to thank my family, coaches, teammates, my attorney and the athletics department for their support during this difficult time. I will not have any further comment at this time. In addition, I have asked the athletics department to respect my privacy by not answering any questions or releasing any information beyond this statement.
Here is Goodman’s original story on ESPN.com.
Trier has yet to play through Arizona’s first 18 games of the season but he has remained with the team practicing and attending games.
The NCAA rule on failed tests for non-street drugs is an automatic one-year suspension. Arizona appealed the suspension — and won — the caveat being that the drug has to completely leave Trier’s system before he is able to play. That, apparently, has been a longer, and more complicated, issue that perhaps originally thought.
Goodman’s story makes no mention of the circumstances around Trier’s positive test, although Trier lays out his case in general terms in his statement. Why has the drug taken so long to leave Trier’s system? That remains a question.
School officials have not commented directly on Trier’s situation, although coach Sean Miller has spoken about Trier’s positive attitude in practice and on the bench during games.
“Academically, he is in a great place,” Miller said Monday. “He does what he’s supposed to do. He practices hard every day. He is in great physical condition. But he’s not allowed to play and it’s not my choice. It’s just one of those situations that I wished was different, but it’s not.”
Miller this week said he was “ambivalent “about the chances of Trier playing this season.
“I don’t have control of the situation,” he said. “When you’re dealing with a crisis or adversity — and we’ve had plenty here over the last nine months — you finally settle into, what can I really control. For me, the purpose of every day is we have to coach Rawle (Alkins), Kobi (Simmons), all those guys.”
Miller also said this week that this is “kind of a once-in-a-lifetime situation.”
Given what we know now, Miller sounds like he is right.