New York Knicks center Joakim Noah has violated the NBA’s Drug Policy for an over-the-counter substance. Neither the league nor Noah will appeal the suspension, which will begin when Noah is “eligible and physically able to play.”
Noah, 32, was thought to be lost for the season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to remove bone fragments on February 27th.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 25, 2017
The former Defensive Player of the Year agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal with the Knicks last summer. He’s had more than enough struggles on the court this year, and the fact he was busted with performance-enhancing-drug isn’t making his situation any better.
Noah was suspended for LGD-4033, a substance that is currently banned under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
LGD-4033 is described as “non-steroidal, selective androgen receptor modulator that, much like testosterone, can create anabolic activity in muscles and bones,” and “provides many of the muscle-building and therapeutic benefits of testosterone, without the same level of troublesome side effects,” according to elitefitness.com.
Noah had been completely cooperative throughout the process, and in a statement by the NBAPA, Noah did not intend to break the NBA Drug Policy. While it seems that Noah could have a good shot at an appeal filing the test under the “unintentional ingestion” clause, it seems he will not appeal and move on with the suspension.
Statement from NBPA on Joakim Noah’s 20-game suspension for violating league’s anti-drug policy: pic.twitter.com/3eA5FKl4I3
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) March 25, 2017
Noah is expected to work out for Head Coach Jeff Hornacek next week, so that he can attempt to be cleared to play even though he will be serving his suspension. After he works out, the team will play nine more games, leaving him with 11 more games to serve in the 2017-2018 season.
Noah was signed in the off-season to be the anchor of the Knicks defense. He’s failed to do so, as the team has been in the bottom-three in defensive efficiency this season. Noah has only averaged 5 points and 8.8 rebounds through 46 games, which were all starts. Hornacek recently said he may start rookie Willy Hernangomez or second-year big man Kristaps Porzingis at center, regardless of Noah’s help.