NEW YORK: Free agent guard O.J. Mayo was banned from the NBA for at least two years on Friday (Saturday in Manila) for violating the league’s anti-drug program.
Mayo, who has spent eight seasons in the league since being taken with the third overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, had been previously suspended for 10 games in 2011 after testing positive for steroids he said were taken unknowingly in a supplement.
After being dismissed and disqualified from the league for his latest violation, Mayo cannot apply for reinstatement for two years, so his actual punishment could last longer if such a bid is rejected.
The NBA, clubs and the players union cannot disclose details about substances, testing or treatments under medical privacy laws and the league anti-doping program, only announce a suspension or dismissal from the league.
Mayo, a 28-year-old American, played for the Memphis Grizzlies from 2008-2012, spent the 2012-2013 campaign with Dallas and played for Milwaukee from 2013 to 2016.
He missed the first 11 games of last season for the Bucks with a strained right hamstring and 11 more in January and February.
Mayo played his final game of the campaign on March 10 after suffering a fractured right ankle when, according to the Bucks, he accidentally tripped going down some stairs.
In his seven prior seasons, Mayo averaged 14.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals a game.
Mayo becomes only the 11th player to be banished from the league in a drug violation.