The NBA is going to be on hiatus for a while due to the coronavirus outbreak and during the time off the NBA has come to an agreement with the NBAPA to temporarily eliminate all drug testing for the time being.
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.
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.
As of now, the NBA is hopeful to restart operations in June but there’s still uncertainty on how the coronavirus outbreak will continue to affect the United States in the upcoming months.
For now, there’s a working plan that games would return without fans, and teams have been told to search out arena dates well into August for the playoffs, sources said. Teams have been directed to give the league office potential dates at smaller nearby game venues, including team practice facilities, that could spare the use of empty, cavernous arenas and possibly provide backdrops to unique television viewing lines.
While there is growing concern about what’s coming and the health of American society, there remains some optimism that the season can be resumed. Mostly, there is uncertainty because no one — not owners, not Silver — can be certain based on the unfolding of the coronavirus impact and how dramatically the escalation of the crisis will impact the league’s ability to resume.
It’s going to be a strange few months but hopefully the coronavirus gets contained in the upcoming months and everything can get back to normal eventually.