It’s usually Major League Baseball and the NFL that are associated with performance-enhancing drugs, not the NBA.
On Wednesday, though, a basketball player was suspended for using PED’s. Hedo Turkoglu will miss 20 games for violating the league’s anti-drug program.
The Orlando Magic player tested positive for methenolone, which is on the NBA’s list of banned substances. Methenolone is a type of anabolic steroid.
Even before the suspension, Turkoglu had been in the middle of his worst season as a pro. Injuries have forced the small forced to sit out 40 games. He’s missed the last three games with a sore back., and broke his hand earlier in the season. In the 11 games that he has played, Turkoglu is averaging a career-low 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per contest.
Turkoglu is one of the few players that has ever been suspended by the league for using a PED. In 2009, the forward’s former teammate with the Magic, Rashard Lewis, was suspended for 10 games for taking a banned substance. He claimed to have used an over-the-counter supplement that contained the substance.
In a statement, Turkoglu attempted to explain his failed test.
“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,” said Turkoglu. “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. I know I have let down a lot of people and I am truly sorry for my mistake.”
The NBA’s list of banned substances contains more than 125 items. Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said the organization believes Turkoglu’s claim that it was a mistake, and that he took the drug without knowing it was against league rules.