Turkoglu Blames Ignorance For Steroid Use; Suspended For 20 Games

How refreshing would it be, if an NBA player actually told the unvarnished truth of what took place, when they have to apologize after they have messed up on or off the hardwood? Wouldn’t you have far more respect for a player, if they said what actually took place; rather than provide the media and the fans, an account that comes with an implied wink and a nod? The “Orlando Sentinel,” reported that Orlando Magic veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu, has received a 20-game suspension from the Association, after tests revealed that the big man tested positive for an anabolic steroid called methenolone.

The veteran will serve the suspension without pay for the 20-contests that he will miss. The native of Turkey, told new club General Manager Rob Hennigan, that he took the banned substance without realizing what it was. The Orlando executive said “Clearly, Hedo made a mistake. He knows he made a mistake. He’s owning it. It’s certainly a disappointing circumstance for us, but I personally feel very confident in the amount of diligence we use to inform our players as to what can and cannot be taken.”

Turkoglu, basically told media members the same thing when he spoke with reporters. The 34-year-old veteran said “I’m sorry. I want to apologize (to) the DeVos family, the Magic organization, my teammates and, most important, all my fans here and all around the world and back home. This is a situation I never wanted to be in.”

Turkoglu, is truly one of the “good guys” in the Association; he was a major factor in Orlando going to the NBA Finals in 2009. Off the court, he was always friendly and forthcoming in interviews, when Orlando would play in Cleveland, while I covered the Cavaliers. However; not checking with the team trainer on a possibly banned substance, is a mistake that can be accepted by a rookie, possibly a second year player. Hedo, is currently playing in his 13th NBA campaign; he is far too smart and knowledgeable to make that mistake.

Bottom Line: Turkoglu, is no longer the player he was a few years ago as age has taken its toll on his body. He took a substance that he knew could cost him games if detected and he played the odds it would not show up in a test. Looking at it with that perspective, it is pretty understandable why he took the course he did. The truth is always the way to go; one would think that the Magic veteran had learned that by now.

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