Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson has been suspended, without pay, for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug program, reports ESPN.
The Hornets released a statement saying they’re “disappointed in Al’s decisions that led to this suspension. As an organization, we do not condone this behavior.”
However, the banned substance Jefferson used has not been disclosed.
The team said it has addressed the situation with Jefferson and that he’s “regretful and understands that we expect him to learn from this mistake.”
Jefferson also released a statement through the team apologizing to the organization, owner Michael Jordan, his teammates and fans for what he called a “poor decision.”
He is currently out with a strained left calf and can’t begin serving the five-game suspension until he’s healthy, the league announced this week.
“I just feel so low right now for every little boy and every little girl who looks at me as somebody they look up to,” Jefferson said an hour before the Hornets hosted Miami. “For me to make mistakes like this, it’s not cool. It’s not cool for them, and it’s not cool for me. That kills me more than anything.”
Jefferson is averaging 13.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game this season for the Hornets. And, is in the final season of a three-year contract.