Knicks star suspended for doping violation

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By AFP
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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah, the son of French tennis legend Yannick Noah, was suspended 20 games without pay by the NBA on Saturday after failing a doping test.

Noah, who has not played since undergoing left knee surgery last month, tested positive for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator LGD-4033, a substance intended to produce effects similar to those of anabolic steroids, the league announced.

Noah’s ban will begin with the first NBA regular-season or playoff game for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

At 27-45, the Knicks are all-but eliminated from the playoff hunt, sharing 12th in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and trailing Miami by eight games for the final playoff berth.

In 46 games this season for the Knicks, all of them as a starter, Noah has averaged 5.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

The two-time NBA All-Star, who was named the league’s 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on February 4. He had also been nagged by a hamstring injury earlier this season.

Noah was not expected to return this season but depending on when he does, the punishment could see him forfeit between $2.5 and $2.75 million in salary.

ESPN reported that Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement banned under the current league bargaining agreement with the players union. Noah would not have faced a penalty under the new collective bargaining deal set to begin next season.

Noah, 32, holds US, French and Swedish citizenship and first made his mark as a collegiate star at Florida, leading the Gators to consecutive US national tournament titles in 2006 and 2007.

After being selected ninth overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2007 NBA Draft, Noah played for Chicago until last July, when he signed a four-year deal worth $72 million with the Knicks.


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