Hedo Turkoglu has been suspended for 20 games for testing positive for methenolone, the NBA says— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) February 13, 2013
After the suspension was announced, Turkoglu released a statement (via OrlandoMagic.com).
While I was back home in Turkey this past summer, I was given a medication by my trainer to help recover more quickly from a shoulder injury. I didn't know that this was a banned substance and didn't check before taking it.
I take full responsibility for anything that goes into my body. This was a complete error in judgment on my part and I apologize to the Orlando Magic organization, the league, my teammates, and the Magic fans.
Magic general manager Rob Hennigan also released a statement in the same press release, reiterating Turkoglu's lapse in judgement.
Hedo unknowingly took a banned substance. There are more than 125 banned substances on the NBA List, and we spend a lot of time educating our players on the contents of that list and will certainly continue to do so moving forward. We believe this was an honest mistake.
Turkoglu has played in just 11 games this season due to various maladies, missing the team's last three contests with a back injury. The 13-year pro is averaging a career-low 2.9 points per game and shooting just 26.4 percent from the field.
The loss of Turkoglu does weaken the Magic’s bench, though considering how much time he has already missed this season, the team should have no problem filling the void.
Of much more importance here is what Turkoglu is said to have tested positive for. According to Anabolic-Pharma.com, Methenolone is a steroid close in nature to testosterone. The site also says that it is used “to promote weight gain following extensive surgery, chronic infection, or severe trauma, and in other cases that result in inadequate weight gain or maintenance.”
Do you believe Turkoglu?
Turkoglu becomes the first NBA player to be suspended for a performance-enhancing drug since O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies received a 10-game suspension after testing positive for the steroid hormone dehydroepiandrosterone back in January 2011.
The suspension will begin with the Magic's game against Atlanta on Wednesday night.