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Washburn Is Banned for Life by NBA for Drugs

June 30, 1989

Chris Washburn of the Atlanta Hawks became the sixth player to be banned for life by the National Basketball Assn. under the league's anti-drug agreement, after a relapse, the league said Thursday.

Washburn was suspended without pay by the NBA on Sept. 26, 1988, after his third substance-abuse relapse and was returned to the league's rehabilitation center in Van Nuys. He did not play last season.

Washburn, a 6-foot 11-inch center/forward, may appeal his suspension after two years.

John Drew, who played for the Hawks and the Utah Jazz, was the first player banned for life under the anti-drug agreement, in January 1986. The next month, it was Micheal Ray Richardson of the New Jersey Nets, and in January 1987, they were joined by Lewis Lloyd and Mitchell Wiggins of the Houston Rockets. Duane Washington of the New Jersey Nets received the same punishment in September 1988.

Washburn's contract was terminated, which meant he lost at least $1.6 million.

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