Jodie Meeks Reportedly Suspended 25 Games for Drug Violation

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2018

Washington Wizards guard Jodie Meeks (20) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, in Denver. The Wizards won 109-104. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Washington Wizards guard Jodie Meeks is reportedly set to be suspended by the NBA for 25 games due to a violation of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug program. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday that Meeks will miss the Wizards' playoff run after testing positive for "banned compounds Ipamorelin and Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-2."

Meeks called it a "wrongful accusation" and released a statement announcing his appeal, per Wojnarowski: "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."

Meeks' lawyer, Ben Levine, told Wojnarowski the following regarding the suspension: "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 is among Washington's top bench contributors.

In 77 games this season, Meeks averaged 6.3 points and 1.6 rebounds while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Meeks was fourth on the team in scoring among players who aren't regular starters.

The 30-year-old veteran is in the midst of his first season with the Wiz after previous stints as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic.

His best season came in 2013-14 when he averaged a career-high 15.7 points per game with the Lakers.

The recent return of John Wall coupled with Bradley Beal's strong play softens the blow of losing Meeks, but it means there will be added pressure on Tomas Satoransky to be Washington's top backcourt option off the bench.

The eighth-seeded Wizards will begin their playoff run Saturday when they face the No. 1 Toronto Raptors in their first-round series.

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