NEW YORK – O.J. Mayo was dismissed and disqualified from the NBA on Friday for violating the terms of the league’s anti-drug program, the first player to receive that punishment in a decade.
The league said the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 draft out of USC is eligible to apply for reinstatement in two years.
Mayo, 28, spent the past three seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. He averaged 7.8 points in 41 games last season, including 24 starts.
According to rules of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program, information regarding the testing or treatment of a player can’t be disclosed by the league, his team or the union. However, there are only a few violations that would lead to Mayo’s punishment.
A player can be dismissed or disqualified from the NBA for testing positive for a drug of abuse, or if he is convicted of or pleads guilty to the use, possession or distribution of a drug of abuse.
The list of drugs of abuse includes amphetamines, cocaine, LSD and opiates such as heroin, codeine and morphine.
A third positive test for a performance-enhancing drug also leads to a player being dismissed and disqualified, as does being convicted of or pleading guilty to a crime involving the use, possession or distribution of one.
The last player to receive the penalty was Chris “Birdman” Andersen in January 2006, when he was playing for the New Orleans Hornets. He was reinstated in March 2008, won a championship with Miami in 2013 and spent last season with the Heat and Memphis Grizzlies.
Mayo was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves but his rights were dealt to Memphis in exchange for Kevin Love’s. Mayo played four seasons for the Grizzlies and one for the Dallas Mavericks before joining the Bucks. He has averaged 13.8 points in 547 career games.
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