While the National Basketball Association (NBA) season has been put on hold due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the NBA and the National Basketball Player’s Association came to an agreement to not drug test players during the hiatus.
The agreement would suspend drug testing as long as the season is postponed, which is expected to last until mid-April and possibly as late as June. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, players are subject to up to six drug tests a year, four during the course of the regular season and two during the offseason. Currently, cannabis is still on the NBA’s list of banned substances. While the tests are typically given at random, they have a tendency to occur at strange times, like after scoring 50 points in consecutive games.
According to the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), players who test positive for any of the banned substances that they are subject to fines, suspensions and potential bans from the league. Last year, Tyreke Evans received a two-year ban from the NBA for violating the anti-drug policy and is eligible for reinstatement next year. Earlier this year, Charlotte Hornets player Malik Monk was suspended indefinitely for violating the anti-drug policy.
On a recent podcast episode, Brooklyn Nets player Kevin Durant continued his advocacy for cannabis and said he believes the league should remove cannabis from its banned substances list. With the passing of the NFL’s new CBA, the NBA remains the last of the four major professional sports leagues to test for cannabis.
During the hiatus, teams are not allowed to conduct group workouts or practices and players must consult with the team to coordinate individual workouts. Multiple players working out at the facility will use parts of the facility on an individual basis and the same coach or trainer will work with the same player to limit exposure to the virus.