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Utah Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha suspended 5 games for violating NBA’s anti-drug program

Utah Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha (22) grabs a rebound as the Utah Jazz and the Philadelphia 76ers play at Vivint arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Credit: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – The NBA will suspend Utah Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha for 5 games without pay for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program.

Sefolosha underwent knee surgery on January 17 to repair his MCL. So, he will likely serve the suspension after he returns from his injury rehabilitation in October.  The league also announced Dallas Mavericks big man Nerlens Noel will be suspended five games as well for violating the program.

Sefolosha wrote a statement through his Twitter account to apologize.

“I would like to first apologize to the Utah Jazz organization, specifically to our great owners, management, coaching staff and my teammates,” Sefolosha wrote. “I also would like to apologize to the NBA and to the fans who have loyally supported me for the past 12 years.”

The NBA offered no specifics of what Sefolosha violated, but a suspension is handed out after a third violation of the anti-drug program.

Sefolosha signed a two year contract in the summer of 2017 with a non-guaranteed second year. Seflosha has played in 38 games for the Jazz this year scoring 8.2 points and pulling down 4.2 rebounds per game in 21.2 minutes per game.