Atlanta Hawks Forward Collins Handed 25-Game Ban

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Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins has been suspended without pay for 25 games for violating the terms of the NBA's anti-drug program.

The league announced on Tuesday that Collins tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-2 (GHRP-2).

Collins' ban will start against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, but the 22-year-old told ESPN he plans to appeal against the sanction.

In a statement released via ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter, he said: "First I want to apologize to my team-mates, the Hawks organization, our fans, partners and community as a whole for this situation.

 

"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 us in this position.

"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 – a first-round selection by the Hawks in the 2017 NBA Draft - has averaged 17 points and 8.8 rebounds through five games this season.