Hedo Turkoglu suspension: Magic F tests positive for common steroid

Rob Carr

Hedo Turkoglu admitted to mistakenly using a methenolone, a banned substance and steroid formerly used by Alex Rodriguez.

The NBA announced on Wednesday that Hedo Turkoglu would be suspended 20 games for testing positive for methenolone -- a performance enhancing drug that's used frequently by athletes and bodybuilders. In a statement released by the Magic, Turkoglu stated that a trainer back home in Turkey gave him the medication this summer to help him recover from a shoulder injury.

Methenolone is categorized as a steroid, which the NBA added to their list of banned substances in 1999. It's the chemical name for a commonly used brand name Primobolan, which can be administered orally or by injection. The steroid is a dihydrotestosterone, or DHT-based anabolic steroid. It is often cited for its fairly minor side effects and much cheaper in its injection form. Primobolan is not considered a particularly strong steroid -- it is not ideally used for bulking up but rather for building strength, something Turkoglu's trainer would more appropriately prescribe as he recovered from the shoulder injury.

The most famous athlete who's been caught using the drug is Alex Rodriguez. In 2009, A-Rod confessed to using Primobolan while he was with the Texas Rangers. It's also the same drug that prosecutors said the BALCO labs tested with Barry Bonds.

This is the second Magic player to test positive for steroids in the past five years. Rashard Lewis was suspended in 2009 for using a different steroid, DHEA, which was a testosterone-producing drug. The NBA handed Lewis a 10-game suspension for that positive test. Turkoglu, who's played in only 11 games this year, will now be out with a suspension double that of his former teammate.

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