Micheal Ray Richardson, the talented and troubled guard for the New Jersey Nets who disappeared four days ago, admitted Tuesday that he is once again experiencing a drug problem and turned himself in for treatment.
Richardson twice before has been through rehabilitation for cocaine addiction, the last time in 1983 when he was suspended by the Nets for two months.
According to NBA drug policy, a player is subject to permanent suspension if a relapse occurs a third time, with reinstatement possible in two years. But after consulting with league attorneys, NBA spokesman Alex Sachare said: "If Richardson came forward voluntarily for a drug problem, we would treat it as a second offense under our drug program."
The 30-year-old Richardson, who will be suspended without pay indefinitely while he undergoes treatment, turned himself over to two league drug counselors, Net officials said. The length of his rehabilitation will be determined by the staff at the drug center, the league and the team.