Noah sorry for ‘mis­take’ that ‘back­fired’

New Straits Times - - Sport -

NEW YORK: New York Knicks cen­tre Joakim Noah apol­o­gised on Tues­day for the failed drug test that re­sulted in a 20-game ban, vow­ing to bounce back from what he called a “mis­take” that “back­fired.”

Noah, the son of French ten­nis le­gend Yan­nick, was sus­pended by the NBA on Satur­day af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for an il­licit sub­stance re­puted to have ef­fects sim­i­lar to an­abolic steroids.

Noah has said he in­gested the drug un­wit­tingly in an over-the­counter sup­ple­ment which is banned un­der NBA rules.

“I made a mis­take,” Noah said. “It was a tough year for me and the team and I want to start by apol­o­gis­ing to my team­mates, to the Knicks, to the or­gan­i­sa­tion. I let a lot of peo­ple down. It was a mis­take and I got to learn from it and bounce back.

“This is a tough mo­ment but I’m go­ing to learn from it. I tried to take sup­ple­ments to help me and ev­ery­thing I was go­ing through. I was go­ing through a lot of in­juries. I tried to take some­thing to help me and it back­fired.

“It didn’t come from a bad place. I’ve been work­ing with the league on this for a while. I got pun­ished. Twenty games is se­vere but it is what it is and I’ve got to bounce back.”

The Na­tional Bas­ket­ball Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion have noted that Noah was “com­pletely forth­com­ing and co­op­er­a­tive” through­out the league’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In 46 games this sea­son for the Knicks, all of them as a starter, Noah has av­er­aged 5.0 points, 8.8 re­bounds and 2.2 as­sists.

The two-time NBA All-Star, who was named the league’s 2014 De­fen­sive Player of the Year, un­der­went arthro­scopic knee surgery on Feb4. He had also been nagged by a ham­string in­jury ear­lier this sea­son. AFP

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