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Hedo Turkoglu suspended 20 games for violating NBA’s Anti-Drug Program

The NBA has suspended Hedo Turkoglu for 20 games for violating the terms of the NBA and NBPA's Anti-Drug Program. The NBA reports Turkoglu tested positive for methenolone, an anabolic steroid.

He will begin serving his suspension tonight in Orlando's game against Atlanta and will not be eligible to play again until March 27 when Orlando travels to Charlotte. There will be only 11 games remaining in the season when Turkoglu is eligible to return.

"Hedo unknowingly took a banned substance," Rob Hennigan said in a statement the Magic released. "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."

Turkoglu will be made available to the media before tonight's game against the Hawks.

Turkoglu said in a statement that he unknowingly took the banned substance while he was rehabbing his shoulder in Turkey this offseason.

"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."

This just continues an odd and disappointing season for the Magic forward.

Turkoglu is averaging only 2.9 points per game and has made only 1 of his 24 3-point attempts in 11 appearances this season. Turkoglu injured his hand in the first game of the season and missed about five weeks. He tried to come back in late December, but his conditioning and his strength were not completely back and he was forced to sit out again to rehab.

He has not played for the Magic since Feb. 4 in the loss at Philadelphia.

This suspension certainly kills whatever little trade value Turkoglu might have had for this year's trade deadline. Turkoglu has another year on his deal that is reportedly partially guaranteed. There is no telling what Orlando might do this summer in regards to that decision.

What this means immediately is that the Magic will rely heavily on Maurice Harkless, Arron Afflalo, Josh McRoberts and DeQuan Jones to fill the small forward spot like they have all season.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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