Apparently football players, baseball players, and Lance Armstrong aren't the only ones using performance enhancing drugs.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Steroids are all over sports, and now the NBA is joining in the effort to prevent them.
Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu has been suspended 20 games by the NBA after testing positive for methenolone, a steroid currently banned by the NBA. According to reports, Turkoglu unknowingly took the substance over the summer.
Wikipedia.com cites that methenolone is an anabolic steroid that is "found within the adrenal glands of pregnant domesticated felines." Ummmm what?!
Anyway, Turkoglu was extremely apologetic and remorseful to his team, the NBA, the organization and the fans. He issued the following statement earlier:
"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 judgement 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."
According to the current anti-drug policy in the NBA, a player is suspended 20 games for a first offense, 45 games for testing positive a second time, and removal from the league entirely after the third violation.
Turkoglu hasn't had the greatest season as he's been dealing with a hand injury throughout and has only played in 11 games. He has averaged just 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in that span.
Turkoglu's suspension comes only one week after NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that he would like to see HGH testing in the NBA as early as next season.
According to espn.com, Turkoglu said the league tested him in December and informed him of his suspension Tuesday.
But my question is, why are all these trainers allowing athletes to take banned substances in the first place? I understand that the NBA's banned drug list contains over 125 different substances and that's a lot to keep up with, but I feel like every time an athlete is given something, they should probably cross reference what they are taking with what the league they play in allows them to take. But that's just my opinion.
Regardless, there is no question we are entering into a different era in the NBA when it comes to steroid testing, and the players (and trainers) are going to have to start paying very close attention.
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