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New York Knicks' Joakim Noah suspended for 20 games after doping violation

NBA All-Star Joakim Noah faces a 20-game unpaid suspension after failing a doping test. The New York Knicks center, son of French tennis legend Yannick Noah, tested positive for a substance similar to anabolic steroids.

Noah's suspension was announced on Saturday, when the NBA confirmed he'd tested positive for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator LGD-4033, a substance intended to produce effects similar to those of anabolic steroids. The over-the-counter supplement is banned under the current league bargaining agreement with the players union.

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) said neither Noah nor the union will appeal the suspension.

"After a thorough investigation, the NBPA believes that Joakim Noah did not intentionally or knowingly violate any policy," a union statement said. "We believe that this isolated occurrence was a regrettable mistake. Joakim has offered his deepest apologies for this infraction."

The NBPA said Noah was "completely forthcoming and cooperative" throughout the investigation.

The 32-year-old has not played since a knee operation last month and his ban will begin with the first NBA regular-season or playoff game for which he is eligible and physically able to play, which means he looks likely to miss the start of next season. 
 

mp (AFP/DPA)