The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have reached an agreement not to test players for drugs during the season break caused by the coronavirus.
NBA players typically undergo ” 6 random and unannounced urine tests during each season and off-season. This decision is temporary.
Cannabis, steroids and performance-enhancing substances are among the substances prohibited in the league’s drug program, although some states allow recreational and medical use of cannabis for those 21 years of age and older. Some other sports federations, such as the MLB or NFL, have already stopped testing their players for cannabis or have reduced penalties.
According to the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, players who test positive for hard drugs (heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine…) are banned from the league for at least 2 years, and players who test positive for performance-enhancing substances are suspended for 25 games for a first offense, 55 games for a second offense and are banned from the league for at least two years for a third offense.
NBA & cannabis
For cannabis, the sanctions are already adjusted. A first offense leads to mandatory entry into the NBA substance abuse program. For a repeat offense, the sanction can go up to a $25,000 fine, a third to 5 games suspension, then 5 more games for each new offense.
To date, the United States has banned all events involving 50 or more people for the next two months. However, the NBA’s return is not guaranteed after this period, both because of the uncertainty of the length of the break and the possibility of being able to take over the schedule of remaining games.