NEW YORK -- Detroit Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter was suspended 10 games without pay by the NBA on Wednesday after testing positive for phentermine, a banned substance primarily used for weight loss.
"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.
Hunter, who is 36 and in his 13th NBA season, is averaging 4.6 points, 1.4 assists and 14 minutes in 39 games as a key reserve for the Eastern Conference-leading Pistons.
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."
Pistons coach Flip Saunders declined to comment on the suspension before the game, saying he wanted Hunter to have a chance to talk first.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press