Toronto Raptors rookie guard Jalen Harris has been disqualified from the NBA for a year for violating the league’s anti-drug program, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Harris played in just 13 games this season on a two-way contract with the Raptors, and was set to become a restricted free agent this summer.
However, per the league’s rules, he will be required to step away from the game for a year, and will be allowed to apply for reinstatement when that one-year ban is complete. Here are the rules of the league’s anti-drug program: “If a player tests positive for a drug of abuse, he will be dismissed and disqualified from the NBA. A player will also be dismissed and disqualified from the NBA if he is convicted of, or pleads guilty to, the use, possession, or distribution of a drug of abuse.”
Under the NBA’s anti-drug program, there are currently more than 250 banned substances by the league, and testing positive for any of them results in an automatic ban. An example of some of the drugs prohibited by the league are: methamphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, opiates, marijuana (including synthetic cannabinoids), steroids, performance-enhancing drugs and masking agents (SPEDs), and diuretics. Veteran players are subject to two-year bans if they test positive for a “drug of abuse,” and first-year players receive a one-year suspension from the league for the same violation.
Players are required to undergo nine random drug tests — six urine and three blood tests — administered by an independent third-party testing company during the season and in the offseason. If a player tests positive, refuses to take the drug test or tries to tamper with the test in any way, it will result in an automatic dismissal.
The most recent instance of a player being banned from the league for a full season for violating the league’s anti-drug program was back in 2016 when former college standout O.J. Mayo was hit with a two-year suspension.