- National Teams
Pops Mensah-Bonsu has been banned from playing basketball for two years after failing a drugs test whilst playing in Greece in April, as reported by Sport24.gr.
The GB forward has also been fined 1000 euros with the ban already in effect from 18th April when he first tested positive for banned substance Nandrolone in a test at AEK Athens, first reported by Greek media.
Mensah-Bonsu gave a statement in a press conference to protest his innocence shortly after the news broke of his failed drugs test last month. Statement in full below (via eurohoops.net)
“I would like to inform all Greek basketball fans that on the start of the season, on 1st October 2014, while i was in a camp I visited the Denver Nuggets doctor. He proposed me the medicine called “ADDERALL”, which is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as well as the NBA.
“After this medical examination, he diagnosed that I suffer from a syndrome of distractibility known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and he recommended this specific medicine for periodical use. This medicine doesn’t make me stronger, nor jump higher or run faster than I already can. It makes me find my balance and concentration so that I can function as a regular person.
“I would also like to point out that this medicine is necessary for my daily functions like reading, watching a movie or babysitting my kids. All these have nothing to do with the game of basketball. I insist that the use of this medicine was only and exclusively regarding my personal life.
“Here, I would like to reiterate that never in my career have I been found guilty for using any kind of prohibited medicine, having participated in the Olympic Games, the Euroleague (including a Final4), the NBA and in many games in Europe at the highest level. It is unfortunate that this form of medication has yet to be approved in some professional leagues in Europe, knowing the amount of athletes that suffer from this Disorder.
“This has been one of my best individual seasons and it would be an injustice to diminish the success of this team and myself.
“It has been my faith in God, hard work, and determination. To equate it to some drug is not right and entirely not true. I’ve spent many hours in the gym this season doing my best to put this team on my back, I would never do anything to destroy the hard work of all parties involved.”
The 31-year-old also has to return any finance gained since the offence and will also not be allowed to work in sport in any capacity for the duration of the two years.
It has not been confirmed as of yet whether the 2012 Olympian will appeal the ban, which will end on 18th April, 2017.