NEW YORK (AP) — Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu was suspended 20 games by the NBA on Wednesday after testing positive for steroids.
The NBA said Turkoglu tested positive for methenolone, an anabolic steroid. He will begin serving the suspension Wednesday night in Orlando’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Turkoglu said in a statement released by the team that he took medication from a trainer in Turkey this past summer to help him recover from a shoulder injury. He said he “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,” the 33-year-old from Turkey said in his statement. “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 said in a statement released by the team that Turkoglu “unknowingly” took the 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,” Hennigan said. “We believe this was an honest mistake.”
Turkoglu is in the third year of his second stint with the Magic. He is averaging 2.9 points, 2.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds, all down from his career numbers over the previous 12 seasons.
Turkoglu is making about $11.8 million this season. He has one more year remaining on his current deal. He was picked as the NBA’s most improved player in 2008 while with Orlando.
Orlando went into the game with a 15-36 record in its first season of rebuilding following the departure of All-Star center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason.
Turkoglu has appeared in 11 games this season with one start. He has missed a total of 31 games, including 28 for a broken hand he sustained the first game of the season. He has missed the Magic’s past three games with flu-like symptoms (two games) and a sore back (one game).
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