The Portland Trail Blazers suspended Qyntel Woods without pay yesterday following allegations that the 6-foot-8 forward abused his dog.
A pit bull allegedly belonging to Woods was found last week abandoned and suffering from wounds authorities suspect were incurred during an illegal dog-fighting competition, according to media reports.
Woods, 23, has denied ownership of the animal, but Portland-based television station KATU quoted a witness who said Woods discarded the dog because it wouldn't fight. Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies searched Woods's home in Lake Oswego, Ore., Monday for evidence of dog fighting.
No criminal charges have been filed against Woods, who was cited in the past for marijuana possession and for driving with a suspended license. The Trail Blazers have launched their own investigation.
"We are deeply disturbed by the developments in this case, and we believe that suspending Qyntel is warranted and necessary," Trail Blazers President Steve Patterson said in a statement. "We have said from the beginning that we are taking this situation very seriously."
Dog fighting is a felony in Oregon and punishable by up to five years in jail and $100,000 in fines.
"This organization will not accept this type of behavior," Patterson said. "If these allegations prove to be true and if further steps are needed, we will not hesitate to take them."
Woods averaged 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds for Portland last season.
-- Greg Sandoval