Joakim Noah Is Refreshingly Honest About His PED Suspension

Photo credit: Tony Gutierrez/AP
Photo credit: Tony Gutierrez/AP

Here’s something different: A professional athlete refusing to participate in the usual post-PED bust ritual self-mortification that only serves to prevent us from grappling with any meaningful questions about drugs and sports.


Over the weekend, Knicks center Joakim Noah, who is more a half-functioning collection of limbs than a basketball player at this point, was suspended 20 games after testing positive for a banned substance. Noah talked about the suspension with reporters today, and instead of saying “I have no idea how that got in my system!” or “I’m very sorry for doing something that harmed children in pediatric cancer wards,” Noah played it straight. From the AP:

“I wanted to do something to help myself, help my body and like I said it backfired on me,” Noah said. ‘I tried to take the right measures when I was taking the supplements and it wasn’t enough.”


“So I know it didn’t come from a bad place,” Noah said, adding that he thought 20 games was severe but “it is what it is and I’ve got to bounce back.”

Noah’s been kept off the court by a variety of injuries this year, and it’s increasingly looking like his physical ailments are going to continue hampering his career going forward. He thought taking a banned substance might help him get his body back to where it needs to be in order to play and help his team, and he doesn’t seem to feel the need to apologize for that. If you think he does, why is that?