Phentermine is commonly used as an appetite suppressant -- you may remember it as being one half of the infamous Fen-Phen weight-loss drug. As a controlled substance, a prescription is required to legally possess it.
For what it's worth, there have been reported cases of athletes using phentermine to gain a competitive advantage in the past. Most prominently, former NFL linebacker Bill Romonowski ran afoul of the law when he obtained mass quantities of the drug through false prescriptions for his wife and friends.
On the international scene, numerous athletes from cyclists to wrestlers to karate fighters have been caught and punished for taking it. Why do athletes take it? According to a doctor that testified in the Romonowski case, they do it because phentermine can help an athlete "experience increased mental alertness and masking of fatigue."
Hunter claims he wasn't going for that edge, but that it was actually a big mistake on his part:
"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."That may sound like a standard issue denial, but Hunter's sterling reputation around the league makes it easier to believe, or at the very least, easier to want to believe.
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."