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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

John Collins issues statement after being suspended 25 games for PED use

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins was off to a hot start this season after enjoying a breakout year last year, but he could now be forced to sit out for nearly two months after violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy.

Collins has been suspended 25 games after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug called Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2, the NBA announced on Tuesday. The 22-year-old issued a statement saying he unknowingly took a supplement that contained a banned substance. He apologized and said he will appeal the 25-game ban.

Collins, who was drafted by the Hawks with the 19th overall pick in 2017, became a huge contributor last year. He averaged nearly a double-double with 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, and he was off to a similar start this season with averages of 17.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks through five games.

The Hawks have had some bad luck early this year, though they were fortunate when Trae Young’s nasty-looking injury turned out to not be serious. Pending the results of Collins’ appeal, they will now have to fill a major void in their frontcourt.

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