John Collins, power forward for the Atlanta Hawks, was suspended for 25 games wihout pay on Tuesday for testing positive for Peptide-2, a growth hormone. This is the second such violation of the NBA’s Anti-Drug Program this season, following DeAndre Ayton receiving the same punishment last Thursday. In a statement to ESPN, Collins apologized to his fans, teammates, and the Hawks organization, claiming that he was unaware the drug had entered his body. He plans to appeal his suspension in order to return to the court as soon as possible.
The young Atlanta Hawks team has playoff aspirations this year, but missing their second best player for more than a quarter of the season will be a huge setback. Although sophomore guard Trae Young is playing like a superstar, Collins’s absence will surely be noted and may very well cost them a ticket to the postseason. The third-year forward is averaging 17.0 PPG and 8.8 RPG on 52% shooting, production the Hawks will have a hard time replacing.
Collins will lose over $610,000 in salary over this suspension, according to ESPN.
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