The second-year player from Wake Forest tested positive for the Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-2, the NBA announced. Collins apologized in a statement, saying he was “incredibly frustrated and disappointed in myself for putting all of us in this position” but planned to appeal the suspension.
“I have always been incredibly careful about what I put in my body, but I took a supplement which, unbeknownst to me, had been contaminated with an illegal component,” he said. “I plan to fight my suspension in arbitration so I can get back on the court as soon as possible and continue to contribute to our 2019-20 campaign.”
Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said the team will continue to support Collins and vowed to help the guard “get through this, not as a player but as a person.”
“Of course it's disturbing, that this is something you hope you can prevent, and we hope we can educate him on that, but he made a decision, or someone made a decision and somehow we got to this point,” Pierce said. “It's our job to get to the information, to keep all our guys from making this decision or being in this position again, but it hurts our team.”
Collins is the third player to be suspended for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton and Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler were also suspended without pay earlier this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.