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Arizona basketball: Allonzo Trier’s case has precedent

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This isn’t the first time the NCAA has done this

NCAA Basketball: Cal. State - Bakersfield at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

According to Allonzo Trier himself, he will be able to play for the Arizona Wildcats again once the level of a banned substance in his system drops below the threshold that the NCAA considers illegal. This is the case because he won an appeal where he convinced them that he unknowingly took the banned substance.

On the surface, it sounds ridiculous, but it’s something that has happened with the NCAA before.

Back in 2010, Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston tested positive for the steroid Norandrolone (the drug Trier tested positive for has not been divulged). This earned Houston the standard one-year ban, but what came after that is something so crazy you couldn’t make it up.

Almost a year later, Houston took another drug test, and while the level of Norandrolone had dropped from 260 ng/ml to 26, it was still well above the NCAA’s threshold of 2.5 ng/ml. This led to the governing body imposing a lifetime ban on the Georgia lineman.

So like Trier did, Houston appealed to the NCAA, won it, and would be allowed to play once he got below the legal limit.

However, because of the combination of drug, injection site, and the simple fact that each individual metabolizes drugs differently, Houston’s level did not drop below 2.5 ng/ml until three full seasons after the initial failed test.

Three years.

It’s impossible to make a direct comparison between Trier’s case, and the one that Houston had. First of all, we don’t know the drug Trier is trying to clear from his system. Secondly, part of the reason it took so long for Houston to get it out of his system was because of doctor error.

The lengths he went to though are incredible:

Taken more than 100 drug tests that proved that the banned substance was declining in value in his system.

Taken a series of ultrasound and deep tissue massage treatments.

Started a prescription of Rifampin, a strong antibiotic which is normally used to treat tuberculosis.

Taken sauna treatments that put him in a 150-degree room, eight hours a day for 30 days.

And finally had surgery to remove five fatty deposits from his body where the banned substance was stored.

There’s no telling how Trier’s body has reacted to the drug that he tested positive for. and how long it will take for him to get below the allowable limit. In Jeff Goodman’s original report, he says “while the level of the drug in his system has decreased, it has remained there as of the last test, which was taken within the past two weeks.”

So yes, it’s now clear to the public what Arizona and Trier are waiting on. What’s still unclear is how long they will be waiting, and they won’t know how long that wait will be until it’s over.