Washington Wizards guard Jodie Meeks is being suspended 25 games for violating the NBA’s Anti-Drug program, according to ESPN. The suspension comes right before the Wizards take on the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, effectively ending his season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Meeks tested positive for banned compounds Ipamorelin and Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-2.
Meeks’ lawyer, Ben Levine, had this to say to ESPN regarding the situation, “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.”
This is a big blow for Meeks, who was already having a subpar season after missing most of the last two with injuries. The Wizards will surely miss his three-point threat on the perimeter and now they’ll have to look to someone else to help make shots off the bench.
Meeks’s suspension will spill over into next season, as well.
Meeks averaged 6.3 points and 1.6 rebounds this season on 39.9 percent shooting from the field and 34.3 percent from three.
Meeks has responded.
“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.”