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NBA suspends random marijuana testing for 2020-21 season

The NBA's pandemic-shortened season, which will consist of 72 regular-season games, will begin Dec. 22. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/48b45323c66f741dc26a4bd2257589c6/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The NBA's pandemic-shortened season, which will consist of 72 regular-season games, will begin Dec. 22. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have reached an agreement to suspend randomized drug tests for marijuana during the 2020-21 season.

"Due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBPA to suspend random testing for marijuana for the 2020-21 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse," NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement Friday.

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The NBA had a similar policy for the 22 teams competing inside the league's bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla., this past summer. It remains unclear whether the league will return to its normal testing practices next season.

The NBA is the latest league to begin rolling back marijuana restrictions. MLB removed marijuana from its drugs of abuse list in December 2019 and shifted its focus to opioids and other substances of abuse.

In the new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players' union, the threshold for determining a positive test was raised and punishments were removed. The NHL still requires random testing, but the league doesn't punish players for positive test results.

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The NBA's pandemic-shortened season, which will consist of 72 regular-season games, will begin Dec. 22. The first half of the 2020-21 schedule was revealed Friday evening.

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