ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins was suspended for 25 games without pay on Tuesday for a violation of the NBA’s Anti-Drug Program after testing positive for a growth hormone.
The NBA announced Collins, 22, tested positive for Peptide-2. He is Atlanta’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer.
Collins is the third player to be handed 25-game suspensions for drug violations this season.
The NBA announced Thursday night that Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton was suspended after testing positive for a diuretic.
On August 29, the league suspended Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler for testing positive for Ipamorelin, a drug that increases the release of growth hormone.
The suspensions of Ayton and Chandler also are without pay.
Collins’ suspension begins with Tuesday night’s game against San Antonio.
The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 17 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.
Statement From Hawks President of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk:
“On behalf of the entire Hawks organization, we are disappointed to learn that John put himself in an unfortunate situation and violated the league’s anti-drug policy. We hold ourselves and each of our players to a high standard, and we are committed to supporting John as he learns from this setback and continues to grow as both a player and a person. Head Coach Lloyd Pierce and I have both talked to him and we believe that he is truly remorseful for his actions. We will provide John with support on and off the court while we look forward to his return to the team.”
Statement From John Collins:
“First I want to apologize to my teammates, the Hawks organization, our fans, partners and community as a whole for this situation. I understand the impact this matter has on what we are trying to achieve together this season, and I am incredibly frustrated and disappointed in myself for putting all of us in this position. I have always been incredibly careful about what I put in my body, but I took a supplement which, unbeknownst to me, had been contaminated with an illegal component. I plan to fight my suspension in arbitration so I can get back on the court as soon as possible and continue to contribute to our 2019-20 campaign.”