The Atlanta Hawks are one of the league’s more exciting young teams when they have their entire young core playing together, but they’ll be without a key piece for a considerable amount of time.
John Collins, their third year forward out of Wake Forest, became the third player to earn a 25-game suspension for a failed drug test since this offseason, as the league announced he had tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2. His suspension is effective immediately, beginning with the Hawks game on Tuesday night against the Spurs — a game Hawks fans were looking forward to as Trae Young will be returning from an ankle sprain.
Collins joins Wilson Chandler of the Nets and Deandre Ayton of the Suns as players to get hit with a 25-game suspension for a failed PED test. He will file an appeal with the NBPA shortly and cited the use of a supplement that contained the illegal substance unknowingly.
“First I want to apologize to my teammates, the Hawks organization, our fans, partners and community as a whole for this situation,” Collins said in a statement. “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 of 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 fight 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.”
Hawks president Travis Schlenk also released a statement on behalf of the organization:
“On behalf of the entire Hawks organization, we are disappointed to learn that John put himself in an unfortunate situation and violated the league’s anti-drug policy. We hold ourselves and each of our players to a high standard, and we are committed to supporting John as he learns from this setback and continues to grow as both a player and a person. Head Coach Lloyd Pierce and I have both talked to him and we believe that he is truly remorseful for his actions. We will provide John with support on and off the court while we look forward to his return to the team.”