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Washington State's Klay Thompson suspended for UCLA game in wake of marijuana-possession charge

March 4, 2011 |  9:49 am

Klay_400 Washington State has suspended Klay Thompson for the Cougars' game against UCLA on Saturday at Friel Court in Pullman, Wash., after the star guard was issued a misdemeanor criminal citation for marijuana possession late Thursday night.

"We are aware of the situation involving Klay and will continue to gather information," Washington State Coach Ken Bone said in a statement released Friday morning. "Klay will be suspended for Saturday's game against UCLA and the situation will continue to be evaluated throughout the weekend. Until that time, neither myself nor the team will have further comment."

Thompson was issued the citation after a Pullman police officer pulled over Thompson's GMC Envoy around 11 p.m. because the front passenger-side headlight was out, Cmdr. Chris Tennant told The Times. The officer smelled an odor of burned marijuana coming from the vehicle, Tennant said, but Thompson denied any involvement with the drug.

Officers eventually had Thompson open a center console and observed marijuana in the vehicle, but because of state law, they could not retrieve it until obtaining a search warrant, Tennant said. Thompson was issued a citation for marijuana possession, and officers impounded his vehicle, finding 1.95 grams of marijuana inside, Tennant said.

Thompson should receive a notice in the mail assigning a court date in the case in about two weeks, Tennant said. The former Santa Margarita High standout, the Pacific 10 Conference's leading scorer, had 22 points Thursday during Washington State's 85-77 victory over USC, and his absence against the Bruins could prove costly to the Cougars.

While UCLA (21-9 overall, 12-5 Pac-10) is trying to catch Arizona (24-6, 13-4) atop the conference standings, Washington State (19-10, 9-8) is still vying to move into contention for a NCAA tournament berth.

-- Ben Bolch in Seattle

Photo: Klay Thompson. Credit: Mike Nelson / US Presswire