Hornets’ Jefferson given five-game ban for violating anti-drug program

Charlottte Hornets centre Al Jefferson has been suspended without pay for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.

The 30-year-old has not played since November 29 after being ruled out for up to three weeks with a calf strain.


It was announced on Wednesday that Jefferson has now been banned by the NBA, but no further details were given by the league.

“We are disappointed in Al’s decisions that led to this suspension,” the Hornets said in a statement. “As an organization, we do not condone this behavior. We have addressed this with Al. He is regretful and understands that we expect him to learn from this mistake.”

Before his injury, Jefferson was averaging 13.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

“I want to apologize to the Hornets organization, our owner, my teammates and my coaches for the poor decision that I made,” Jefferson said in a statement.

“I know I have let people down, especially the Hornets fans that have been so supportive of me since I arrived in Charlotte two years ago. I am blessed to be able to play the game that I love for a living and I do not take that for granted.

“From the bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry, and I am committed to making smarter decisions in the future.”

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