NBA suspends Pelicans G Didi Louzada 25 games for banned substances

The NBA suspended New Orleans Pelicans guard Didi Louzada for 25 games without pay for violating the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program, the league announced.

Drostanolone and testosterone, both banned substances, were detected in a drug test, the league said.

Louzada, 22, will begin his suspension with Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers in New Orleans.

“We were disappointed to learn that Didi Louzada violated the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program,” said David Griffin, the team’s vice president of basketball operations, in a statement. “After speaking with Didi, we are confident that he understands the full gravity of the situation and regrets the decisions that led to the suspension. We fully support Didi on and off the court as he learns and grows from this experience.”

In a statement issued to ESPN, Louzada said a nutritionist in his native Brazil recommended the substances.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Louzada has appeared in five games for the Pelicans — two this season and three last season. He has eight total points in 63 minutes for New Orleans — none yet in 2021-22.