Sources: NBA players won’t be subject to drug testing during coronavirus hiatus

The empty court is seen at the Wells Fargo Center after an NBA basketball game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Detroit Pistons, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
No one knows when NBA games will resume. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have reached an agreement to not subject players to drug testing during the hiatus caused by the coronavirus, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Players typically undergo “six random, unannounced urine drug tests during each season and off-season,” as stated in Article XXXIII of the collective bargaining agreement.

This rare agreement is only temporary, sources said.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

Marijuana, steroids and performance-enhancing drugs are some of the banned substances in the league’s anti-drug program, even though some states allow recreational and medicinal marijuana use for those 21 or older.

According to the CBA, players testing positive for drugs of abuse are banned from the league for a minimum of two years, and players testing positive for performance-enhancing substances are suspended for 25 games for a first violation, 55 games for a second violation and are banned from the league for a minimum of two years for a third violation.

A positive test for heroin or cocaine warrants an automatic two-year suspension.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Sunday that all events with the expectancy to hold 50 or more individuals be postponed or canceled for the next two months.

But with this crisis being categorized as a pandemic and the uncertainty of when the outbreak will subside, the league is left wondering how long it will be until it can resume play and some are questioning if the season will be lost.

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