(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Larry Sanders has been suspended by the NBA for five games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The Milwaukee Bucks issued the following statement:

“Larry Sanders has a responsibility to every person in our organization and our fans. We are all disappointed by the news of his suspension.”

Larry Sanders also issued a statement:

“I apologize to the entire Bucks organization and our fans for being suspended five games for using marijuana in violation of the NBA Anti-Drug Program. I take full responsibility for my actions.”

For a player who signed a 4-year, $44 million extension last summer — an extension that hasn’t even begun yet — Sanders could not possibly be having a worse season, and for that fact he has no one to blame but Larry Sanders.

Because Sanders is injured, his five-game suspension won’t be served until the beginning of the 2014-15 season.

The league’s drug policy divvies up its banned substances into four categories: drugs of abuse, marijuana, performance enhancers, and masking agents.

The Program subjects each player to six random, unannounced drug tests during each season and off-season. It also includes testing based on reasonable cause at any time. Urine testing is conducted for approximately 160 substances by state-of-the-art laboratories certified by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The policy further states:

Players testing positive for drugs of abuse are banned from the league for a minimum of two years, and players testing positive for performance-enhancing substances are suspended for 20 games (1st violation), 45 games (2nd violation), and a minimum of two years (3rd violation).

Because he was suspended for five games, Sanders had to have tested positive three times for marijuana:

If a player tests positive for marijuana, or if he is convicted of, or pleads guilty to, the use or possession of marijuana, he will be required to submit to treatment, counseling, and aftercare testing in the Program. A second violation will result in a $25,000 fine, and any subsequent violations will result in a suspension that is 5 games longer than the player’s immediately-preceding marijuana suspension.