The professional basketball players blamed a contaminated dietary supplement for the failed drug test.
John Collins, a third-year professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks, has tested positive for growth hormone-releasing peptide-2 (GHRP-2). GHRP-2 is also known as pralmorelin.
The use of GHRP-2 is a violation of the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. The National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended Collins for 25 games without pay. Collins will forfeit $610,582 of his $2.7 million salary for the 2019-2020 NBA season.
Collins released a statement in which he denied knowingly using the banned growth hormone secretagogue (GHS). Collins claimed that GHRP-2 entered his body via a contaminated dietary supplement.
The Atlanta Hawks power forward plans to appeal the suspension.
“First I want to apologize to my teammates, the Hawks organization, our fans, partners and community as a whole for this situation,” Collins said in a statement. “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.”
Pralmorelin (GHRP-2) is an orally-active peptide drug that promotes the endogenous release of growth hormone. It is similar to other secretagogues like GHRP-6, ipamorelin and hexarelin. These peptides are often used as an alternative to injectable recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH).
Collins is the second NBA player to be caught using GHRP-2 (Pralmorelin). Washington Wizards guard Jodie Meeks got caught with both pralmorelin and ipamorelin in his system in April 2018.
Other notable NBA players who tested positive for growth hormone-releasing peptides include Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler (ipamorelin) in August 2019.
Collins will be eligible to play again for the Hawks’ game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 23, 2019.
NBA. (November 5, 2019). Hawks’ John Collins suspended 25 games. Retrieved from nba.com/article/2019/11/05/john-collins-hawks-25-game-suspension