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August 8, 2009

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Orlando's Lewis gets 10-match dope ban

ORLANDO Magic forward Rashard Lewis tested positive for an elevated testosterone level and was suspended on Thursday for 10 games.

Lewis said in a statement that he took an over-the-counter supplement late last season that included a substance he did not realize was banned by the National Basketball Association.

"First and foremost I take full responsibility for the situation and accept the corresponding penalty," Lewis said. "I apologize to Magic fans, my teammates and this organization for not doing the research that should come with good judgment."

He will be suspended without pay for the first 10 regular-season games for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

Lewis's suspension will begin with the first game of the 2009-10 NBA regular season, against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 28.

The Orlando Sentinel first reported the positive test on Thursday. Citing unidentified league sources, the newspaper reported the supplement contained DHEA, a steroids precursor.

"I hope every athlete can learn from my mistake that supplements, no matter how innocent they seem, should only be taken after consulting an expert in the field," Lewis said in his statement.

The 29-year-old Lewis averaged 19.0 points in the playoffs to help lead the Magic to the NBA finals, where it lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.


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