The National Basketball Association (NBA) has today suspended New York Knicks center Joakim Noah for 20 games without pay after he failed a doping test.
The 32-year-old, a member of the French EuroBasket runners-up in 2011, tested positive for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator LGD-4033, a substance intended to produce effects similar to those of anabolic steroids.
Noah was likely to miss the Knicks’ final 10 games of this season having not played since February 4 after undergoing left knee surgery.
The NBA has said his ban will begin with the “first NBA regular season or playoff game for which he is eligible and physically able to play.”
Noah, the son of French tennis legend Yannick, signed a four-year deal worth $72 million with the Knicks last July.
He has averaged 5.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 46 games this season, all of which have come as a starter.
ESPN reports that Noah, who holds American, French and Swedish citizenship, tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is banned under the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement with the players union.
He would not have faced a penalty under the new collective bargaining deal due to start next season.
The players’ union believes Noah made an unintentional error.
“Joakim was completely forthcoming and cooperative throughout the investigation and we believe that this isolated occurrence was a regrettable mistake,” a union statement reads.
“Joakim has offered his deepest apologies for this infraction, and neither he nor the NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) will pursue an appeal.”
By Daniel Etchells
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.