Turkoglu tested positive for an anabolic steroid called methenolone. He took full responsibility for the situation and suspension. Reportedly, Turkoglu was in Turkey last summer and received treatment for a shoulder injury from a doctor in his home country. The mistake he owns up to is not checking to see if the treatment was on the NBA’s list of banned substances.
This makes only the eighth time in league history that a player has been suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs under the NBA’s drug policy. Interestingly, one of those other seven players that have been suspended is Rashard Lewis while he was a part of the Magic organization.
In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s recent PED revelations and the ongoing controversial battle in Major League Baseball, this positive test and suspension might open up the eyes of many fans to the potential for PED-use in the NBA, an idea that is dismissed by most people.
But for Orlando, this suspension doesn’t mean much at all. Turkoglu has only played in 11 games this season due to a string of injuries and illnesses, including a broken hand, sore back and flu-like symptoms.
In those games, Turkoglu is only averaging 17.2 minutes per game and is only averaging 2.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, as well as shooting 26.4 percent from the field and 4.2 percent from beyond-the-arc. He also has a cringe-worthy Player Efficiency Rating of 3.48 this season.
Sure, the Magic are ailing and struggling after losing Dwight Howard, but losing a player with a 3.48 PER really isn’t going to matter to them. Don’t expect much change in Orlando’s play without Turkoglu.