Carmelo Anthony was cited for marijuana possession before getting on a team flight last week, but the Denver Nuggets' star says the drug was left in his backpack by a friend.

Anthony was issued a summons last Friday at Denver International Airport; he flew with his teammates to Milwaukee for the next day's preseason game but didn't play.

Anthony's attorney, Daniel Recht, said the marijuana was left in the bag by an out-of-town friend who borrowed the backpack last week.

"The friend obviously uses marijuana and left a small amount in the backpack when he returned it to Carmelo," Recht said yesterday. "Carmelo had no idea there was any marijuana in the backpack."

Anthony was charged with possessing less than one ounce of marijuana, a petty offense with a maximum $100 fine and no jail time. He was in Los Angeles for a preseason game last night against the Clippers and not immediately available for comment.

Recht said he met with a city attorney and requested the citation be dismissed. He also said the friend acknowledged the marijuana was his and would come forward to accept responsibility.

Recht also said he received a letter from Nuggets General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe verifying Anthony passed four random drug tests last season and another two weeks ago. The letter also said tests from U.S. Olympic Committee at the Athens Games this summer came back negative.

-- From News Services