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Geiger suspended for using steroids

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 15, 2001


PHILADELPHIA -- Sixers center Matt Geiger sat out Wednesday's game against the Lakers after being suspended two games without pay for violating the league's steroids policy.

Geiger, the ex-Countryside High star, returned to the lineup Tuesday from a long absence after knee surgery. Neither the team nor the league would comment on the suspension.

In a statement, Geiger apologized for the embarrassment, saying he had tested positive for a drug that was only recently banned under NBA rules.

Geiger said when he took the drug, which he did not name, it was not banned yet, but traces of it remained in his system.

"Last summer, I was notified by the NBA that new products and drugs had been added by the league to the list of banned substances," Geiger said. "Once I realized that a product I was using was on the list, I immediately stopped taking the product.

"Unfortunately, the product I had used generally remains in your body for a significant period of time. As a result, when I was tested under the new regulations, traces of the drug I had used before it was prohibited remained in my system and led to the suspension," he said.

The league, the team and the players association are prohibited from talking about the testing or treatment of any player.

GRIZZLIES: Team president Dick Versace was fined $10,000 by the league for remarks about the Raptors in a radio interview.

In the Tuesday interview, Versace said the state of basketball in Canada is no better in Toronto than it is in Vancouver, where the Grizzlies have been given permission by commissioner David Stern to look at relocating.

"Toronto is one year away from the position that we're in," Versace said, adding that the team's future hinges on what Vince Carter does when his contract ends.

"Whether he stays or he goes they are in trouble. . . . If Vince demands a huge salary, which he's going to, then their payroll is going to go up dramatically. They are just probably breaking even or making a little money right now."

KINGS: All-Star forward Chris Webber will miss tonight's road game against Portland after spraining his left ankle on Tuesday. Webber suffered the injury with 0.9 seconds left in regulation in an overtime win over Utah.

X-rays showed no broken bones, and he will be evaluated daily.

WIZARDS: Center Calvin Booth is scheduled for elbow surgery Friday and is expected to be sidelined at least a month.

In other news, the team activated forward Obinna Ekezie.

IBL: The International Basketball League absorbed two more teams from the defunct Continental Basketball Association, bringing the total of CBA teams in the league to five.

The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Hoops and Connecticut Pride announced they would join the IBL. Earlier in the week, the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Skyforce, the Gary (Ind.) Steelheads and the Rockford (Ill.) Lightning joined the IBL.

Ralph Rossi Jr., chief executive of the Baltimore-based IBL, said discussions were continuing with other teams.

"We're happy to continue talks with the other former CBA teams and have been energized by the many cities and teams that have contacted us regarding expansion," Rossi said.

The additions give the IBL 11 teams.

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