Barkley to take leave of absence
Published 10:58 pm Friday, January 9, 2009
Charles Barkley is taking a leave of absence from the broadcast booth.
The announcement by Turner Sports came Friday, hours after police said the 45-year-old former NBA star was legally drunk when he was arrested Dec. 31 on suspicion of drunken driving in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Test results show Barkley had a blood-alcohol level of .149 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of .08 percent in Arizona.
Barkley will be off the air for a minimum of several weeks, and no return date has been set, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it.
Barkley was stopped by a Gilbert officer working a regional DUI task force shortly after he left a popular nightclub at about 1:30 a.m. He failed field sobriety tests but was cooperative.
He was booked and released at a field command post and later issued a statement saying he was disappointed he put himself in that situation.
“When I spoke with Charles, he was apologetic for the events that transpired and it was obvious he understood the significance of this situation,” said David Levy, president of Turner Sports, said in a statement. “This is an important time for Charles as he deals with the legal and personal issues that confront him. Charles is a valued part of the Turner Sports organization, and we are concerned for his well-being.”
Barkley’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment Friday.