Wilson Chandler, a veteran NBA forward now signed to the Brooklyn Nets, has been suspended for 25 games without pay for violating the league’s anti-drug policy by taking “small doses” of a banned substance the league identified as Ipamorelin, a growth hormone.
Chandler, 32, who signed with the Nets as a free agent in July, apologized in a statement today.
“During my injury rehab process, before I signed with the Nets, I was prescribed a treatment that included small doses of a substance recently added to the NBA’s prohibited substance list,” Chandler said. “I did not realize this substance was banned, and neither did the doctor.”
He added: “I accept responsibility and apologize to my Nets teammates, coaches, front office and fans for this mistake. I will continue to work hard to prepare for the upcoming season.”
Representatives for the players union and the Nets declined to comment. Ipamorelin was added to the league’s banned substances list ahead of the 2016-17 season.
Chandler, who was viewed as a potentially crucial addition to the Nets’ depth chart as Kevin Durant recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, has dealt with his share of injuries. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers last season and missed time with quad and hamstring injuries. He averaged six points and 4.2 rebounds a game last season in 51 games and played sparingly in the postseason with the Clippers. In his prime, Chandler was a reliable scorer, topping out at about 16 points a game, and a solid all-around contributor.
The earliest that Chandler will be eligible to play again is Dec. 15, against the Sixers.