Pelicans' Louzada suspended 25 games for drug policy violation

Rocky Widner / National Basketball Association / Getty

The NBA suspended New Orleans Pelicans forward Didi Louzada for 25 games due to a violation of its anti-drug program, the league announced Friday.

Louzada tested positive for drostanolone and testosterone.

Louzada says an offseason consultation with a nutritionist in his native Brazil led to him consuming the substances, which he didn't know were banned.

"Because (the nutritionist) has a history of working with professional athletes, I would never have imagined that any of those substances would be banned or could be contaminated," he told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski in a statement. "Once I learned of the positive test, I immediately cooperated completely with the league and union to help all of us understand what exactly occurred.

"I would never knowingly take anything that violates NBA rules. I accept my responsibility in this situation. I deeply regret that this happened and I apologize to my team, my teammates, and Pelicans fans for this mistake."

Louzada, 22, was selected with the 35th overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks in 2019, but his rights were immediately traded to the Pelicans on draft night.

He's played in just five games across two seasons with New Orleans. Louzada signed a new, partially guaranteed four-year, $7.7-million contract with the Pelicans this past summer, courtesy of Spotrac.

Pelicans' Louzada suspended 25 games for drug policy violation
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