Milwaukee Bucks centre Larry Sanders will be suspended without pay for five games when he returns from injury for violating the NBA's drug policy.
Sanders said in a statement released by the team Friday that he was penalized for using marijuana, his latest setback since signing a four-year extension worth about $44 million US in the off-season.
"Larry Sanders has a responsibility to every person in our organization and our fans," the team said. "We are all disappointed by the news of his suspension."
Sanders apologized to the team and fans.
"I take full responsibility for my actions," he said.
The 6-foot-11 Sanders is out for the season. He was injured Feb. 8 when Houston's James Harden elbowed him in the eye while the two were going for a rebound. He had surgery for a fractured right orbital bone.
Sanders also missed nearly two months earlier this season after tearing a ligament in his right thumb during a fight at a Milwaukee nightclub. He averaged 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 23 games.