Former NBA player Marcus Williams suspended in China for failed marijuana test

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The Chinese Basketball Association had never had a player suspended for violating its drug policy… until now.

Multiple reports out of China now say former NBA player Marcus Williams has been suspended for testing positive for marijuana use. Hoopshype noticed this first, but here is the report from xinhuanet.com.

Former NBA player Marcus Williams has been tested positive for marijuana to record the first doping case in China’s professional basketball league, the national basketball governing body announced on Monday.

Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) said in a statement that the point guard, playing for Shanxi, was banned for six months and the club was fined 10,000 yuan (about 1,500 U.S. dollars) following his positive test on Dec. 9.

First, we need to point out something Tom Ziller noted at SBN: This is Marcus Williams who played for the Spurs and Clippers out of the University of Arizona (he is not Marcus Williams who played for the Nets and Warriors out of UConn).

This penalty is a lot stiffer than stateside. In the NBA, you have to test positive for marijuana three times to get a suspension and then it is only five games. (You get a five-game suspension immediately for testing positive for steroids, and the penalties are much harsher for cocaine, opiates and pretty much every hard drug you imagine.)

Williams is done for this season in China. He may be playing elsewhere overseas next season.