The NBA suspension was announced after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday. As of now, Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Detroit Pistons Christian Wood are the three NBA players with coronavirus. As per recent reports, NBA drug testing will also be halted during the NBA suspension.
The NBA and NBPA agreed to suspend player drug testing during the moratorium to address concerns regarding the proximity of drug testers amid coronavirus and the sensitivity of drawing blood, according to sources. Yahoo first reported suspension of NBA drug testing.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 16, 2020
The reports suggest that NBA drug testing has been suspended due to precautionary measures. The NBA and NBAPA have taken the decision to stop their random NBA drug testing in order to help curb the coronavirus outbreak. As the virus could also by asymptomatic, there is an increased risk. The main concern will be the close proximity between the drug tester and player, including the sensitivity of drawing blood.
A player can be asked for a random urine drug test at least six times, even during offseason. The NBA screen for use of banned substances like steroid and performance-enhancing drugs. Players are even tested for marijuana, which is legal for players in some states over the age of 21. A player can be suspended for two years if he is tested positive for drug abuse. A first offence leads to a 25 game suspension, while a second offence leads to a 55 game suspension. A third offence results in a two-year ban from the league.
According to NBA reports, players are expected to lose 21-24% of their salary if the NBA 2019-20 season does not resume. The NBA was suspended after Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert was tested positive for the virus. A day after the NBA suspension was announced, Donovan Mitchell and Detroit Pistons Christian Wood also tested positive. The NBA has also decided to not drug test any player during the suspension. The previous ban on their travelling has also been lifted, as players are now allowed to travel in North America.
Player salaries can be reduced by 1/92.6th for each game they miss as per the NBA's collective bargaining agreement for every game missed. Right now, though some teams have played more games than the others, most teams have completed 20% of their schedule. On Saturday, it was reported that the NBA would pay players on their respective paydays during the NBA suspension. Currently, the NBA owners are looking to finish the season irrespective of the month it returns. The finals could take place n August, while the new season could start in December.
Story includes NBA’s willingness to consider team practice facilities for games with no fans — and perhaps a unique television viewing experience. Everything’s on the table. https://t.co/sUDowk4aac— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 16, 2020
CDC recommendation of no events of 50-plus people for next two months comes as a number of NBA owners and executives increasingly believe a best case scenario is a mid-to-late June return to play -- with no fans. League's scouting for possible arena dates all the way thru August.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 15, 2020