It has already been a bad season for Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu, who has played in just 11 of 51 games thanks to several injuries and illnesses, but things got even worse on Wednesday when the NBA announced that the 13-year pro had been suspended the next 20 games without pay as the result of a positive test for the anabolic steroid known as methenolone.
After the announcement, Turkoglu stated the following:
"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."
Turkoglu, who is averaging a career-low 2.9 points per game to go with a 26.4 field goal percentage, including a 4.2 3-point field goal percentage, will miss out on about $2.15 million of the $11.8 million he is making this season.
"Hedo unknowingly took a banned substance," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. "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."
The 20-game suspension begins with Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks and means that Turkoglu cannot return until March 26th.
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