INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Indiana Pacers center David Harrison was suspended for five games Friday by the NBA for violating the league's anti-drug program.
Harrison's suspension, which is without pay, will begin with Saturday's game at Sacramento, the league said.
Pacers president Larry Bird said the team was disappointed with the news.
``This is a private matter and we will do what we can to provide David any help going forward,'' Bird said in a statement.
Harrison, who was the team's first pick in 2004 from Colorado, has averaged 4.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 27 games this season. He missed seven games with a sore back before rejoining the team Jan. 4 against Atlanta. He is signed through this season.
Harrison was one of five Indiana Pacers charged in a brawl with Detroit Pistons fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Nov. 19, 2004. Teammates Ron Artest, Anthony Johnson, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson also were charged.
Each pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault and battery and was sentenced to probation and community service. All except Harrison were suspended by the NBA. Harrison still faces a lawsuit related to the brawl.
The NBA conducts random tests four times a season. Players are subject to up to a 10-game suspension for a first offense, a 25-game ban for a second offense, a one-year suspension for a third offense and banishment from the league if caught a fourth time.
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