NBA Suspends Pelicans’ Didi Louzada For Anti-Drug Violation

Pelicans guard/forward Didi Louzada has been suspended for 25 games for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program, the league announced.Didi Louzada

Louzada, 22, is 6-foot-5 and has played just seven minutes this season. He appeared in just three games as a rookie.

Per the NBA, Louzada tested positive for Drostanolone and Testosterone. The suspension goes into effect Friday, when the Pelicans host the Clippers.

Louzada released a statement to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on the ruling.

“When I was in Brazil during the offseason, I consulted a nutritionist who recommended I take some vitamins and supplements,” Louzada said in the statement. “Because she has a history of working with professional athletes, I would never have imagined that any of those substances would be banned or could be contaminated. Once I learned of the positive test, I immediately cooperated completely with the league and union to help all of us understand what exactly occurred.

“I would never knowingly take anything that violates NBA rules. I accept my responsibility in this situation. I deeply regret that this happened and I apologize to my team, my teammates, and Pelicans fans for this mistake.”

Louzada was selected by the Pelicans in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2019 NBA Draft. He played in Australia’s National Basketball League before joining the Pelicans at the end of last year, then signing a multiyear contract during the offseason.

As Wojnarowski noted, Louzada has also spent time with the Pelicans’ G League affiliate in Birmingham, Ala.

The Pelicans (2-14) have stuggled mightily out of the gate minus injured star Zion Williamson. (Related post.)

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