CBSSports Hedo Turkoglu has been suspended 20 games for violating the terms of the league anti-drug program, the NBA announced Wednesday. Turkoglu tested positive for methenolone, according to the league. Per the policy, banned substances include drugs of abuse (cocaine, amphetimines), steroids and marijuana. Methenolone falls under the steroids category. Steroids were added to the list of banned substances in 1999. Turkoglu released this statement through the team: “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. I know I have let down a lot of people, and I am truly sorry for my mistake.” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan released one as well:”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.” All players are subject to four random tests each season (Oct. 1-June 30). They are also subject to two random tests during the offseason (July 1-Sept. 30). All tests are conducted by an independent third party and without prior notice to the player. A first offense is a 20-game suspension. A second is 45 games. A third positive test is permanent banishment from the league. However, a player can be banned for a first positive result on a “drugs of abuse.” (This happened to Chris Andersen, who was reinstated.) Turkoglu, 33, is averaging 2.9 points and 2.1 assists this season. He’s only appeared in 11 games this season after breaking his hand in Orlando’s season opener. His suspension will begin on Wednesday night as the Magic host the Hawks.
As far as I can tell we have our very first NBA steroid scandal. I knew it would happen eventually, but I never thought the first guy to be suspended would be that ugly monster with an albatross of a contract, Hedo Turkoglu.
Hedo looks like he has never lifted a weight in his life, and has been criticized for being out of shape several times throughout his NBA career.
In fact, I’m not going to lie to you, I did not even realize that Turkoglu was still in the NBA. Turns out he is making $12 million dollars in 2013, the final year of the absurd 5 year $52,800,000 contract Turkoglu signed in 2009, and he has been horrible for the entire length of that deal.
If I had to guess, Hedo was trying to return from that shoulder injury quickly this past summer, and he took a banned substance (either purposefully or unbeknownst to him) to recover faster and get another contract. Then he pissed hot. Now, I would guess the soon to be 34 year old will be out of the league once his contract expires, but he was likely headed that way even without the suspension.
Congratulations, Hedo Turkoglu, you are the first NBA player to be suspended for performance enhancing drugs!