Jodie Meeks suspended 25 games for violation of anti-drug program

Jodie Meeks suspended 25 games for violation of anti-drug program

Washington Wizards guard Jodie Meeks has been suspended 25 games for violating the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program, the league announced Friday. The punishment will prevent him from being on the team's postseason roster.

14 Nisan 2018 - 02:00

Washington Wizards guard Jodie Meeks has been suspended 25 games for violating the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program, the league announced Friday. The punishment will prevent him from being on the team's postseason roster.

Meeks tested positive for banned compounds ipamorelin and growth-hormone-releasing peptide-2, the league said.

Washington, the No. 8 seed, will meet the top-seeded Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series on Saturday.

Meeks plans to appeal the punishment, calling the suspension a "wrongful accusation" and denying ever knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.

"For the past nine years I have been humbled every day to have the opportunity to walk into an NBA arena and see the name Meeks on the back of an NBA jersey," Meeks said in a statement to ESPN. "As part of my commitment to playing in the NBA for nine years, I have been subject to countless mandatory tests for any and all drugs including performance enhancing drugs. I have passed each and every drug test without issue for the last nine years.

"Because I have never used a drug of any kind I am absolutely heartbroken and perplexed with the news today. Let me be clear: I have never taken anything whatsoever for a performance-enhancing reason. I respect the game of basketball too much.

"I look forward to exercising my rights under the (NBA's) collective bargaining agreement to bring this matter to arbitration and to clear my name in relation to this wrongful accusation.

"Unfortunately, under the rules of the CBA, until the process plays out, I will be unable to participate in the playoffs. I deeply regret and apologize for any distraction this causes the organization and my teammates as they march towards a championship playoff run."

When reached by ESPN on Friday, Meeks' lawyer, Ben Levine of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, said: "It is regrettable that the NBA has prematurely taken action against Jodie today. Accordingly, we will appeal the suspension and vigorously defend Jodie's rights. Unfortunately, under the CBA, a player is guilty until proven innocent and while Jodie's appeal is pending he will be forced to sit out the playoffs."

Meeks, 30, has played 77 games for the Wizards this season, averaging 14.5 minutes and 6.3 points a game.

The suspension -- without pay -- will carry into the 2018-19 regular season. It cost Meeks $29,909 for each game he is suspended during the playoffs. The Wizards will receive $22,000 in tax savings for each game missed during the postseason. Meeks has a $3.5 million player option for next season, and the remaining games will be deducted from his salary if he opts into his contract. The loss of pay next season is $31,045 per game.?

Meeks has played with six NBA teams since Milwaukee drafted him 41st overall in the 2009 NBA draft. For his career, Meeks has averaged nearly 10 points a game.

ESPN's Bobby Marks contributed to this report.


Kaynak:Abcnews

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