With less than twenty fours to go before the Washington Wizards embark on yet another playoff journey against the Toronto Raptors, guard Jodie Meeks has been suspended for twenty-five games suspension for violating the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program.
Meeks tested positive for banned compounds ipamorelin and growth-hormone-releasing peptide-2. The suspension will prevent Meeks from taking part in the postseason with the Wizards per Adrian Wojnarowski. Meeks called it a “wrongful accusation” and has denied ever knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs. Meeks also confirmed that he will appeal the suspension.
“For the past nine years I have been humbled every day to have the opportunity to walk into an NBA arena and see the name Meeks on the back of an NBA jersey,” Meeks said in a statement to ESPN. “As part of my commitment to playing in the NBA for nine years, I have been subject to countless mandatory tests for any and all drugs including performance enhancing drugs. I have passed each and every drug test without issue for the last nine years.
“Because I have never used a drug of any kind I am absolutely heartbroken and perplexed with the news today. Let me be clear: I have never taken anything whatsoever for a performance-enhancing reason. I respect the game of basketball too much.
“I look forward to exercising my rights under the (NBA’s) collective bargaining agreement to bring this matter to arbitration and to clear my name in relation to this wrongful accusation.
“Unfortunately, under the rules of the CBA, until the process plays out, I will be unable to participate in the playoffs. I deeply regret and apologize for any distraction this causes the organization and my teammates as they march towards a championship playoff run.”
Meeks’ suspension without pay will also carry into the 2018-19 regular season. For each game playoff that Meeks is suspended, it will cost him $29,909. However, the Wizards are set to receive $22,000 in tax savings for each game Meeks misses during the postseason. Meeks has a $3.5 million player option for next season, and the remaining games will be deducted from his salary if he opts into his contract. The loss of pay next season is $31,045 per game.
Meeks has represented six teams since he was drafted in 2009 by the Milwaukee Bucks and has averaged close to ten points per game.
Flip the page to hear what Adrian Wojnarowski had to say about Meeks’ suspension.