Joakim Noah of New York Knicks to receive 20-game suspension for violating NBA’s anti-drug policy

The NBA has suspended New York Knicks center Joakim Noah for 20 games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy, it was announced Saturday.

The suspension will start when Noah — who has not played since Feb. 4 and had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Feb. 27 to remove loose fragments of cartilage or bone — is “eligible and physically able to play” in either a regular season or playoff game, the NBA said. The suspension would then carry into the 2017-18 season.

Noah was initially expected to miss the rest of the season, but New York will likely try to have him return as soon as possible to start the clock on the suspension.

The Knicks expected to evaluate Noah later next week to determine if he’ll be able to return to the court this season. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters in San Antonio on Saturday that Noah hasn’t yet started on-court work. The Knicks have nine games remaining on their schedule following Saturday’s game against the Spurs, so Noah will serve at least 11 games of the suspension next season.

The National Basketball Players Association announced Saturday that neither Noah nor the union would appeal the suspension.

“We believe that this isolated occurrence was a regrettable mistake,” the union announced in a statement. “Joakim has offered his deepest apologies for this infraction.”

Noah, 32, tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement — selective androgen receptor modulator LGD-4033 — that is banned under the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement.

LGD-4033 is defined as a “non-steroidal, selective androgen receptor modulator that, much like testosterone, can create anabolic activity in muscles and bones” and “provides many of the muscle-building and therapeutic benefits of…

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