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Magic’s Hedo Turkoglu suspended 20 games for positive steroid test

Feb 13, 2013, 3:41 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks - Game Three Getty Images

Tell me again how nobody in the NBA would do steroids…

The Orlando Magic’s Hedo Turkoglu has been suspended 20 games by the league for testing positive for methenolone, the league announced. Methenolone is an anabolic steroid.

Turkoglu’s suspension starts Wednesday night and he can return March 27 (vs. Bobcats).

Turkoglu released a statement through the Magic saying this was an accident.

“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.”

Pardon me if I believe him about as much as I believe Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Lance Armstrong and so on and so on….

The Magic’s GM Rob Hennigan has his players back in a released statement, as he must.

“Hedo unknowingly took a banned substance,” 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.”

This really isn’t a blow to the Magic — Turkoglu has been terrible for them this season. He has missed all but 11 games due to a broken hand (suffered in the season opener) and back problems and when he has played he has averaged just 2.9 points, 2.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Other recent suspensions for steroid use include O.J. Mayo for 10 games in 2011, and Rashard Lewis  for 10 games in 2009.

The constant refrain from everyone around the league is that there is not a steroid issue in the NBA, and there may not be to the extent other sports have seen. But with millions of dollars plus the perks of an NBA lifestyle on the line, to suggest players wouldn’t take something that could help make them stronger, recover faster and help bounce back more quickly from injuries is naive. At best.

  1. teehov843 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Maybe D12 should get his hands on some of this stuff!

  2. tonyricemajorharris - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:58 PM


  3. The YUster - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    I guess basketball is the only sport where steroid use can transform a mediocre player into… well… a mediocre player on steroids….

  4. doclolly - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    If this is how he played on steroids i hate to see how hes gonna play when off it

  5. acdc363 - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM


  6. scalfor3 - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    So thats why Hedo was so jacked…wait, what?

  7. readysethike - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    i may be in the minority, but i believe him, at his age and at this stage in his career, what could his benefit be to take PEDs. In his native country they may have different meds, and laws on PEDs may not be as strict so maybe he really didn’t know. its not like he was dunking like griffin or putting up lebron numbers. Hes been terrible the last 4 years.

    • dacapt704 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      The benefit would be that he recovers much faster from injury rather than risk being an amnesty casualty or outright cut. And yes, Turkey may have different rules but he plays in the US so it would be wise to adhere to those policies…so I’m not buying that “he didn’t know”. He’s been around the league long enough and saw a teammate (Rashard Lewis) get suspended for PEDs so his awareness should have been increased. Not attacking you my man..just tired of athletes “not knowing”…gimme a break! Your body is how you make MILLIONS…so you’d just put ANYTHING in it? Seriously doubt that Hedo…

      • shanelsweet - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        You made the best argument not to believe him. He and Rashard were teammates. He knew.

  8. sellahh - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Just legalize it… Steroids don’t make you strong and buffed if you’re a couch potato…
    I’m sure LBJ is just a product of healthy eating… hell yeah.

    • sabatimus - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM


  9. freepretzels - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Yeah, what’s the point of being stronger and faster in basketball? No possible steroid problem there.

  10. miamatt - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    No.1 pick, here we come!!!

    • mazblast - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      Only if David Stern doesn’t reserve it for another franchise.

  11. robones - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Like the writer said, to think the NBA has no real Steroid problem is naive at best. There is just too much money and too much competition from young talent to think veterans are not taking steroids just to compete and stay in the game longer. The NBA is not stupid, they know PEDs is widely used in the NBA but at the same time, the NBA, broadcast networks, team owners and all affiliated benefit financially by the “out of this world” player physics, abilities, speed and power that their players “naturally” possess. I mean, would you be willing to pay $200.00 to seat in section 400 to watch Hedo Turkoglu play or rather pay to watch the likes of Lebron James, Kobe, Wade, etc? Unfortunately for Hedo, he is being used as a scape goat to trick the masses into believing that the NBA is actively looking and testing for PEDs; when all the NBA is really doing is riding the lucrative wave created by the superstars who take PEDs.

  12. cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    He got a bad batch

    • badintent - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:47 AM

      Jose Canseco wants an explanation

  13. volcom2143 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Why did he get 20 games when past two guys got 10 games ?

    • ravissevens - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:42 AM

      The Magic must have asked old mate Stern to make a statement with the suspension… Aka Magic really don’t want him taking minutes off our many youngsters.

    • 24thesho - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:02 AM

      Because he is Turkish.

  14. BigBeachBall - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:31 PM


  15. thomaskouns - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Despite what David Stern says, I’m sure a lot of NBA players are using PEDS.

    Baseball, football and hockey’s drug testing policies are miles behind the standards of the Olympic Testing programs and look at all the players who never get caught but end up being implicated in using PEDS. God help them, if they ever start keeping player’s blood samples and retesting them as the detection technology improves.

    No doubt in my mind the number of PED Users in the NBA is much much much higher than what we know now. Every time a sport says the usage rate is really low they are proved very very wrong. The NFL is the next domino to fall then the NBA.

  16. daddyghi - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    that slow step and lateral moves? and he’ already on roids? huwaw!

  17. edwardsro - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Can’t wait till lebron gets caught

    • rodyaugu - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      More like kobe, cause he’s the one that did a procedure in germany that’s illegal in the states.

  18. seanb20124 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Sounds like the nba is racist, giving the Turk 20 games and the blacks only 10 games

  19. sportsnut101 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Great news for magic they save on paying him for 20 games. He’s gonna need more then steroids to get his game back lol

  20. golfrangeman - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    I think these guys are getting ripped off. None of these guys look like they could bench 100 lbs

  21. themagicfanguy - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    As a Magic fan, its a relief. He’s just been so terrible since he came back from PHX that I’d rather see Harkless and Jones get the minutes anyway, even though I have had quite a bit of fun watching him over the years. Hopefully, he retires soon so we can move on. “Ball”

  22. genericcommenter - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Even Juan Dixon took “steroids.” I’m not even going to get into what that really means, but your sister(?) blog Hardball Talk generally takes a reasonable stance on steroids, perhaps because that sport has more experience with the scandalous aspects.

    This is the type of place where you get down-voted if you support someone with mental illness or say that someone with a lifetime 3pt% over 40% “can hit a three.” So I don’t expect much intellectual discourse on a subject like this. It’s better than PFT comments, though!

  23. abchome - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    No way Turkoglu was playing on steroid, this has to be a mistake of the league.

  24. kavika6 - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    I didn’t know Turkoglu was still playing pro ball.

    Officials should seriously consider testing Tyson Chandler. He looks like the poster boy for steroids.

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