Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders has been suspended for a minimum of 10 games by the NBA for a failed drug test, the league announced on Friday as reported by ESPN.
It is Sanders second suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy in less than a year. Sanders missed the final five games of the 2013-14 season with the center claiming he had been done by the league for marijuana use. The suspension will begin on Monday where Sanders will miss the Toronto Raptors coming to Milwaukee.
It has been reported that the suspension could actually last longer than the original 10 games as it will remain until he is in full compliance with the NBA's treatment program.
The 26-year old Sanders came out last year as an advocate for marijuana use.
"It's something I feel strongly about, just to let you know something personal about me," Sanders told The (Milwaukee) Journal Sentinel. "I will deal with the consequences from it. It's a banned substance in my league. But I believe in marijuana and the medical side of it. I know what it is if I'm going to use it.
"I study it and I know the benefits it has. In a lot of ways we've been deprived. You can't really label it with so many other drugs that people can be addicted to and have so many negative effects on your body and your family and your relationships and impairment. This is not the same thing," Sanders added.
"The stigma is that it's illegal. I hate that. Once this becomes legal, this all will go away. But I understand for my work it's a banned substance. I will deal with the consequences and I apologize again to my fans for that."
Sanders' production has dropped off a bit over the past two seasons after an excellent 2012-13 campaign, but he is still an important player for the Bucks. He is averaging 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game as the Bucks backup center.
Sanders was drafted by the Bucks in the first round of the 2010 draft, spending the 15th overall pick on the 6"11 man out of Virginia Commonwealth University.