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Atlanta Hawks' John Collins receives 25-game suspension for PEDs

By
Connor Grott
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (L) tested positive for growth-hormone releasing Peptide-2 (GHRP-2). File Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (L) tested positive for growth-hormone releasing Peptide-2 (GHRP-2). File Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins was suspended without pay for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program, the league said Tuesday.

The NBA announced Collins, who is in his third season with the Hawks, was handed a 25-game suspension after testing positive for growth hormone-releasing Peptide-2 (GHRP-2).

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Collins' suspension will begin with Tuesday night's matchup against the San Antonio Spurs. According to ESPN, the big man will appeal the 25-game ban.

"First I want to apologize to my teammates, the Hawks organization, our fans, partners and community as a whole for this situation," Collins said in a statement. "I understand the impact this matter has on what we are trying to achieve together this season, and I am incredibly frustrated and disappointed in myself for putting all of us in this position.

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"I have always been incredibly careful about what I put in my body, but I took a supplement, which, unbeknownst to me, had been contaminated with an illegal component. I plan to appeal my suspension in arbitration so I can get back on the court as soon as possible and continue to contribute to our 2019-20 campaign."

Collins is averaging 17 points in 32.2 minutes per game this season. He averages two blocks a game and leads the Hawks with 8.8 rebounds per game.

Collins became the third player in the league to receive a 25-game suspension for a drug violation this season. Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton was suspended after testing positive for a diuretic, and Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler was banned for testing positive for Ipamorelin.

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