Orlando Magic veteran, Hedo Turkoglu has received a 20-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. Turkoglu, a 12-year player out of Turkey, tested positive for methenolone, according to a league report.
Turkoglu released a statement:
“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 Orlando Magic, a team on the rebuild, are likely almost completely unaffected by the absence of a player like Hedo, who has been on the decline ever since leaving Orlando for Toronto after the 2008-09 NBA season, when he helped the Magic reach the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Turkoglu missed time early this season due to injury and has only played in 11 games. He is only averaging 2.9 points per game in those 11 contests and his absence should open up playing time for younger pieces on the Orlando squad, namely, Moe Harkless, the rookie out of St. John’s.
Orlando Magic general manager had this to say following the news:
“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.”
The laundry-list of banned substances that these players can not take is endless, and mistakes are bound to happen, but players have to be careful of what they’re taking. A lesson Turkoglu seems to have had to learn the hard way. A first offense is a 20-game ban. A second is a 45-game ban. A third positive test is permanent banishment from the NBA.