High-flying Americans set for return to action

Former NBA teammates Rodney Buford and Willie Solomon, who played with the Memphis Grizzlies last season and are currently signed with rival Greek clubs, were handed light punishments by a local sports tribunal yesterday after testing positive for use of cannabis. Buford, one of the leading players at Panathinaikos, and Solomon, the outstanding player at Aris this season, were given 40- and 30-day bans, respectively, for offenses detected earlier this year. The belated verdicts, which apply retroactively from the day the basketball players each tested positive, means that both Buford and Solomon can already start preparing for their next games. Buford’s 40-day ban, effective since February 19 when he tested positive following Panathinaikos’s game against Iraklis, expires on Monday. The news is even better for Solomon. His 30-day ban, valid since his club’s clash against Olympiakos on February 16, expired on March 16, despite being handed out yesterday. Neither of the players had been fielded by their clubs in anticipation of yesterday’s decisions. Losing opponents in any games involving the participation of either of the two men – from the day of their failed drug tests to the punishment expiry dates – would have been entitled to appeal for the reversal of match results.

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