Pelicans’ Didi Louzada suspended 25 games for testing positive for steroids

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Marcos Louzada Silva — more commonly known as Didi Louzada, the Brazilian wing who has been on the fringe of the league but has a contract with the New Orleans Pelicans — has been suspended for 25 games without pay by the NBA for violation of the league’s drug policy.

From the NBA’s official announcement:

DiDi Louzada of the New Orleans Pelicans has been suspended without pay for twenty-five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program by testing positive for Drostanolone and Testosterone, it was announced today by the NBA.

Drostanolone is a “synthetic androgenic anabolic steroid” similar to testosterone and has been used as a performance enhancing drug.

Louzada made this statement to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

“When I was in Brazil during the offseason, I consulted a nutritionist who recommended I take some vitamins and supplements. Because she has a history of working with professional athletes, I would never have imagined that any of those substances would be banned or could be contaminated. Once I learned of the positive test, I immediately cooperated completely with the league and union to help all of us understand what exactly occurred.

“I would never knowingly take anything that violates NBA rules. I accept my responsibility in this situation. I deeply regret that this happened and I apologize to my team, my teammates, and Pelicans fans for this mistake.”

Pelicans GM David Griffin released this statement:

Louzada was drafted in the second round in 2019, No. 35 overall, by the Hawks as part of a trade with the Pelicans. He played for two seasons in Australia with the Sydney Kings before signing a four-year minimum contract with the Pelicans this past offseason. The first two years of that contract are guaranteed ($3.7 million guaranteed).

Louzada was assigned to the Birmingham Squadron, the Pelicans’ G-League affiliate, earlier this season and averaged 14 points in more than 30 minutes a night of action.

This season he has played a total of seven minutes in garbage time across two games for New Orleans.