Philadelphia 76ers v Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 28: John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks dives for a loose ball over Vince Carter #15 and Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the second half at State Farm Arena on October 28, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins has been suspended without pay for 25 games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

According to Sports Illustrated magazine, Collins tested positive for growth hormone releasing peptide-2.

On Tuesday, President of Basketball Operations and GM Travis Schlenk released the following statement:

“On behalf of the entire Hawks organization, we are disappointed to learn that John put himself in an unfortunate situation and violated the league’s anti-drug policy. We hold ourselves and each of our players to a high standard, and we are committed to supporting John as he learns from this setback and continues to grow as both a player and a person. Head Coach Lloyd Pierce and I have both talked to him and we believe that he is truly remorseful for his actions. We will provide John with support on and off the court while we look forward to his return to the team.”

His suspension begins with Tuesday night's game versus the San Antonio Spurs.

Collins was averaging 17 points and nearly nine rebounds during the first five games of the 2019-2020 season.

In a statement, Collins says he was unaware a supplement he was taking had been contaminated with an illegal component. 

“First I want to apologize to my teammates, the Hawks organization, our fans, partners and community as a whole for this situation. I understand the impact this matter has on what we are trying to achieve together this season, and I am incredibly frustrated and disappointed in myself for putting all of us in this position. I have always been incredibly careful about what I put in my body, but I took a supplement which, unbeknownst to me, had been contaminated with an illegal component. I plan to fight my suspension in arbitration so I can get back on the court as soon as possible and continue to contribute to our 2019-20 campaign.”

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