Bucks' Sanders suspended minimum of 10 games for violating NBA drug policy

Brian Spurlock / USA Today Sports

Larry Sanders' tumultuous season took a turn for the worse Friday. 

The Milwaukee Bucks center was suspended for a minimum of 10 games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program, the league announced

Sanders' suspension is without pay and he'll begin serving it Jan. 19 when Milwaukee hosts the Toronto Raptors. His suspension will continue until he's in full compliance with his treatment program, the league added in its statement.

It marks Sanders' second suspension for violating the NBA's drug policy after he was banned five games in April for marijuana. 

The 6-foot-11 big was already out indefinitely and hasn't played since late December for what coach Jason Kidd deemed personal reasons. 

Sanders' long fall from grace has been well-documented, as he's failed to live up to expectations after a breakout 2012-13 campaign. After contributing on both ends of the court with averages of 9.8 points on 50.6 percent shooting from the field, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks, Sanders struggled through an injury-riddled season a year ago.  

Sanders, in the first season of a four-year, $44-million deal, has been unable to rebound. He's averaging 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 27 games.

The Bucks have managed fine without Sanders, going 7-4 during his absence and sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 21-19 record.

Zaza Pachulia has entered the starting lineup with Sanders out and responded well with averages of 11 points and 10 rebounds over 11 games. 

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Bucks' Sanders suspended minimum of 10 games for violating NBA drug policy
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