Roberts prevented from Turkey deal due to NBA ban

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The Independent Online

Stanley Roberts, banned from the NBA last month under the league's toughened drug policy, is being prevented from playing overseas, too.

Stanley Roberts, banned from the NBA last month under the league's toughened drug policy, is being prevented from playing overseas, too.

Roberts learned last weekend that he has been banned by FIBA, the sport's international governing body, from signing with Efes Pilsen in Turkey.

"This amounts to a worldwide ban and has ominous repercussions for all NBA players," Roberts' agent, Oscar Schoenfeld, said.

Schoenfeld said FIBA's decision was linked to Roberts getting kicked out of the NBA last month after testing positive for what the league called an "amphetamine-based designer drug."

NBA players who were previously kicked out of the league under the drug policy, including Roy Tarpley, Richard Dumas and Micheal Ray Richardson, faced no restrictions when they moved overseas to resume their careers.

"They cited no precedent, nothing," said Schoenfeld, who is appealing the ban through FIBA. "I would think that when the league and union changed the drug agreement, they didn't contemplate that there could be this kind of punishment.

"He's a human being with four kids, and a worldwide ban is an incredible burden on someone with a limited number of years left in his career," Schoenfeld said.

Roberts was playing for the Philadelphia 76ers last month when he was kicked out of the league. He was making $750,000, and his contract was terminated.

Schoenfeld said Roberts stood to make almost dlrs 1 million from Efes Pilsen, the top team in Turkey.

Roberts was the first player to be expelled under the drug policy that was a big part of the collective bargaining negotiations which ended the lockout in January.

Veterans can be tested once a year - in training camp or within 15 days of signing with a team, and rookies can be tested up to four times.

Marijuana has been added to the banned substances list, but a player can only be suspended - and not kicked out - for using it.

NBA spokesman Terry Lyons said the league has no control over FIBA's policies relating to Roberts.

"On that issue, FIBA makes its own decisions," Lyons said.

Roberts has a history of injuries, including two ruptured Achilles' tendons, bone spurs in his ankles, back surgery and shoulder surgery. He also has a history of weight problems. He weighed 315 pounds (142 kilograms) when the Sixers signed him.

Schoenfeld did not know how quickly the FIBA appeal would be acted upon.

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