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In face of league punishment, Rashard Lewis hits Studio 54

NBA star keeps date with MGM Grand to celebrate 30th birthday

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When Rashard Lewis celebrates his 30th birthday at MGM Grand tonight, don’t expect him to do any shots unless he sees exactly where they came from.

The embattled Orlando Magic power forward will be keeping a close eye on everything the he drinks from now on after supplemented smoothies led to positive drug test results and a 10-game suspension, The penalty was issued this week.

Yet unlike other stars, who often cancel public appearances in the wake of scandal, Lewis kept his date with MGM Grand and did not bail on his birthday party.

As a result, the Pineville, La., native will celebrate his 30th at Studio 54 tonight as originally planned.

Test results made public on Thursday revealed Lewis to have elevated testosterone levels that were traced back to an over-the-counter nutrition supplement powder.

Lewis said he used a supplement late last year that, unbeknownst to him, contained the steroid precursor DHEA.

DHEA is believed to help high-performing athletes with both endurance and recovery.

The basketballer immediately apologized and accepted responsibility for his lack of due diligence.

Lewis is the sixth player to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs since the NBA started testing its players 10 years ago. In addition to his pride, reputation and the admiration of fans, the 6-foot-10 star’s suspension will cost him financially, too: He will lose about $1.6 million of his $18-million salary as part of his punishment.

Lewis is not expected to return to the court until Nov. 16 when the hometown Magic face Charlotte.

While the name of the supplement has not been revealed it is not uncommon for athletes to use creatine or protein-like powders to help maximize performance.

Melissa Arseniuk writes about Las Vegas entertainment and celebrity events. She can be reached at 702-948-7823 or by e-mail at melissa.arseniuk@lasvegassun.com.

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