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McHale Reportedly Says Death of Bias Has Put Him in Favor of Drug Testing

June 27, 1986|Associated Press

BOSTON — Kevin McHale of the Boston Celtics said that the cocaine-related death of Len Bias, the team's No. 1 choice in the National Basketball Assn. draft, has made him willing to undergo drug testing. He also has urged the league's players' association to back a tough testing policy.

"Lenny Bias' tragedy was a rude awakening," McHale said in an interview in the Boston Herald Thursday. "Death sneaks up on you. We have to do something to decrease the chances of something like this occurring again.

"I would tell Red today that I'd submit to drug testing any time he wants," McHale said, referring to Red Auerbach, the Celtic president and former coach. "I'm going to make my feelings known to the other players.

"The hell with the players' association on this particular issue. They should be trying to help players rather than being concerned about protecting them from being caught.

"Lenny's death should make them see that the best thing the association can do for its players is go along with the league and take the toughest stand possible on drug use."

The players' association opposes compulsory testing. Under NBA rules, a player may not be tested unless it is permitted by a provision in his contract.

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