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

Orlando Magic v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 06: Didi Louzada of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during a preseason game at the Smoothie King Center on October 06, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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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.