John Collins Suspended For 25 Games

Hawks big man John Collins has been suspended for 25 games for violating the terms of the NBA’s anti-drug program, the league announced today in a press release. According to the announcement, Collins tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-2 (GHRP-2).

In a statement to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (all Twitter links), Collins apologized to his teammates and the Hawks’ organization, as well as the team’s fans.

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 us in this position,” Collins said. “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 appeal 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.”

Collins is working with the NBPA to begin the appeal process, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). However, it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to get the penalty reduced.

Assuming Collins does have to serve all 25 games of the suspension, he’ll be eligible to return to the Hawks’ lineup on Monday, December 23 in Cleveland. He’ll also forfeit nearly $611K of his 2019/20 salary, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

There has been a noticeable uptick so far this season around the NBA in drug-related suspensions. Collins is the third player so far to be hit with a 25-game ban, joining Wilson Chandler (Nets) and Deandre Ayton (Suns).

Atlanta will be eligible to add a 16th man to its roster after its November 12 game in Denver, since Collins can be moved to the inactive “suspended list” following the fifth game of his suspension.

While having to get by without Collins for the next 25 games is a tough blow for the Hawks, the team did get a bit of good news today. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), Trae Young will be able to return to action on Tuesday night after dealing with a sprained ankle for the last several days.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 thoughts on “John Collins Suspended For 25 Games

  1. brian_james

    It’s amazing how nobody in the history of sports has taken a banned substance on purpose

  2. There is clear steroid use in the NBA. There shouldn’t be a case of taking the ‘wrong’ growth supplement. Why should any supplement be allowed.

  3. PED enforcement can only work (if it ever can) on a strict liability basis. It can’t matter whether or not the player took the substance on purpose, or was duped or tricked into taking it. It’s not about moral judgments. It’s about a level playing field. It’s a player’s job to make sure they don’t take any.

    Of course, false positives do happen, and should be the basis for an appeal. But that’s different from saying I took it by mistake, which seems to be the defense of choice.

  4. “I took it, but I didn’t know it was contaminated”

    The standard non-denial denial… admit you took it, deny you knew it had whatever in it.

  5. SheaGoodbye

    Two very talented young players taking steroids on rebuilding teams. I don’t get it.

    It’s one thing if you’re, say, a veteran with a known injury history playing for a championship. It’s another thing for guys like Ayton and Collins to do something so stupid, especially when they would eventually be getting paid either way.

    Still hoping these suspensions magically get overturned for the sake of my fantasy teams. Please, fantasy bball gods?

  6. Archie M.

    Peptide HGH is also used for heart disease and to lower cholesterol and lipids.

    • braveshomer

      thank you, Writers and Articles label PEDs to demonize these players in every sport simply for click bait, been doing it for years. Then everyone kills them and calls them cheaters..these ‘PEDs’ are often times supplements or as you mentioned beneficial medicine. I get if it’s on the list then he broke the rules blah blah, but let’s not label a lot of these guys cheaters. Sure there are some that are shooting up old school steroids, but most often nowadays its something small and a stupid oversight of one ingredient

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