NBA Tests For MJ, And We Don't Mean Air Jordan 

NBA Tests For MJ, And We Don't Mean Air Jordan 
Posted by FoM on October 11, 1999 at 07:38:44 PT
By Roman Modrowski
Source: Chicago Sun Times
Reality is about to meet perception in the NBA as the league tests for marijuana use for the first time, and the Bulls didn't have to wait long for their examination.
The league is visiting each training camp unannounced and will test players, coaches and other team personnel for banned substances. As a result of the new collective bargaining agreement reached in January, marijuana is now listed among the banned substances.The Bulls were tested Tuesday, which was the first day of camp."I think the time has come to clear up some things as far as the image of the league and what we're trying to portray," said Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong, who's entering his 11th NBA season. "So I think it's good for us because we're a part of society like any other profession, and we have to abide by the rules." The rules mandate a two-year suspension for anyone testing positive for a hard drug, including cocaine or heroin.A first-time offender testing positive for a recreational drug, such as marijuana, must undergo substance-abuse treatment. A second offense carries a $15,000 fine and a third offense results in a five-game suspension.All players will be tested during training camp, and rookies will undergo three more random tests during the season.Test results are confidential. Even the teams aren't informed, although it will be difficult to conceal a drug-related suspension."I didn't think the NBA had a drug problem," said Elton Brand, the Bulls' No. 1 draft pick from Duke. "There were incidents, of course, but I didn't think there was a major problem."But with the new drug policy, we'll see."The players association distributed letters to all its members encouraging those who felt they had a problem to come forward before being tested. Those who did wouldn't be considered first-time offenders and would receive treatment."I talked to our players as well," Bulls general manager Jerry Krause said. "I told them if they had a problem to come to me before being tested because afterward, it would be too late."Krause said none of his players took him up on his offer."I think the game should be as clean as we could make it," Krause said. "Criminal law bans it, so why shouldn't we?"I think it's good we have the public's confidence that they're not going to pay for seats to a game to see a guy who's doing something illegal."There was a time when many seats were empty and the league's image was stained by the perception of widespread drug use. The NBA tried to address the problem by randomly testing rookies, and testing for marijuana advances the image-enhancing process another step."From what I understand, a lot of veteran players wanted it because they didn't want the appearance that that was what the league was all about," Bulls coach Tim Floyd said. "If the players were in favor of it, I think it's fine."And I think it's only appropriate that coaches should be tested as well, and I think all it will do is give the league the type of image that not only the coaches and players want, but what the fans want."One veteran NBA player estimated that 60 percent of the league smokes marijuana, but Floyd doesn't believe the problem is any more prevalent in the NBA than any other occupation."It just mirrors society," he said. "The percentage of people doing it in one business is the same as another business."What happens is there are a couple of isolated cases [in the NBA], and it becomes bigger because of the visibility issue."Armstrong, who has played on four different teams, said he has no reason to believe the "60 percent" estimate. And he also said the players association wasn't against the inclusion of marijuana on the banned list, despite publicized reports to the contrary."I don't smoke, and I'm not around players who smoke," he said. "So the other guys putting out the percentage, how do they know? I have no idea, to be honest."Published: October 11, 1999Chicago Sun TimesNBA's New Drug Policy Being Implemented - 10/09/99
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Comment #3 posted by Confederate Connor on October 12, 1999 at 15:13:23 PT
amazing grace how sweet the sound
Goodbye, NBA...
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Comment #2 posted by Dr. Ganj on October 11, 1999 at 23:06:25 PT
Looks like there won't be any more basketball, unless they all get their "Urinators". :-)Dr. Ganj
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Comment #1 posted by Chris Knestrick on October 11, 1999 at 11:34:18 PT:
Winners Don't Use Drugs?
One of the favorite propaganda lines used tyo scare people is that people who use drugs will never succeed in life, they will never amount to anything. If this is such an eternal TRUTH, then why are they testing successful atheletes? If people who use drugs can't achieve any success, then why bother testing these people?Well you tell so many lies, it just gets easier and easier to spot them.
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