The NBA is not a league that’s known for performance-enhancing drug scandals, and fans must be happy about it. Although professional athletes in other sports have been found using PEDs before, the NBA has never had this level of occurrence. Not many NBA players have ever tested positive in a single season in league history.
On the other side of the coin, there have been few instances when players have been suspended for taking PEDs. Players doing remarkable vertical jump heights and extra fancy dunks always raise eyebrows in the league. It also attracts skepticism about their drug use. While LeBron James has received praise for his perseverance throughout his career, recent reports have sought to undermine this.
Recently, the star of the Los Angeles Lakers was rumored to have taken steroids during his NBA career. James, a legend in the NBA, has been linked to a federal probe into performance-enhancing drugs. James, his lifelong buddy Ernest Mims, and trainer David Alexander were mentioned in the 2023 Biogenesis investigation as those who may have purchased illegal drugs for their use without intending to distribute them to others.
James’ defenders have denied knowing anything about the probe. The 39 year-old who had been accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs, is preparing for his 21st NBA season and is committed to representing Team USA at the Paris Olympics.
Which NBA players have been charged with taking PEDs?
The subject of PEDs is particularly delicate for the NBA. Few failed drug tests have occurred in basketball, and none involved high class star players. Many people believe that the NBA is typically immune to such activities. But exceptions are always there.
Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton was suspended for 25 games for violating the league’s drug policy. The league claimed that Ayton, 21, tested positive for a diuretic that is prohibited. In a statement, Suns General Manager James Jones and Coach Monty Williams expressed their disappointment with Ayton’s conduct, which they felt fell short of the team’s standards.
Another name that has come up over the years is John Collins. Due to John Collins’ violation of the NBA’s anti-drug policy, he was banned for 25 games by the NBA. Collins tested positive for hindrance with growth hormone, releasing a substance known to stimulate appetite, according to a statement from the league.
While playing for the New York Knicks, J.R. Smith was suspended for the first five games of the coming NBA season for failing a drug test. Five games was the then-standard penalty for testing three times positive for marijuana usage in the league’s yearly drug tests. The first two times a player tests positive, according to league regulation, they are sent for treatment; nonetheless, there were no penalties or sanctions, and nothing was disclosed.
One player who was fortunate in terms of facing the consequences was Malik Monk, thanks to the pandemic. Monk was given an indefinite suspension on February 26, 2020, for breaking the NBA’s anti-drug policy. The 2019–20 season was halted before the end of March 11 owing to the COVID–19 epidemic, which had caused the suspension to last until the end of the first regular season in April.