A little over an hour after the NBA announced a 20-game suspension for Hedo Türkoğlu due to violating the NBA's anti-doping policy, the 33-year-old Orlando Magic forward addressed the media to discuss the issue. Magic general manager Rob Hennigan joined Türkoğlu for the meeting. Türkoğlu was suspended for testing positive for methenolone, which substance the NBA classifies in the group of "steroids, performance-enhancing drugs and masking agents," according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
Türkoğlu opened his availability session by making the following statement:
"I've been here before for different situations and as a player this is the worst situation you want to be in. I just want to say I'm sorry. I want to apologize to the DeVos family; the Magic organization; my teammates; and most importantly, all my fans here and all around the world, here and back home [in Turkey]. This is a situation I never wanted to be in and I really apologize. To put this organization in this situation, I'm really sorry for everything that happened."
Türkoğlu said he tested positive in December, which is when process of being suspended began. He heard Tuesday evening that he would be suspended.
"I took something that I shouldn't be taking," Türkoğlu said, in order to battle a shoulder injury. He was in his native Turkey when he took the substance, and he would only say that it was during "the summertime" that he used it; he declined to get more specific.
"I took something that I shouldn't be taking," Türkoğlu said. "I should have double-searched, researched, what I should take, and I shouldn't be in this situation right now."
Türkoğlu has battled adversity throughout Orlando's last season-plus. He fractured his eye socket in 2012, which injury caused him to miss 10 games. He returned for the Magic's first-round playoff loss against the Indiana Pacers while wearing a plastic mask to protect his face. In the Magic's 2012/13 season-opener, Türkoğlu broke a bone in his left hand while committing a foul, missing another 28 games to recover. Upon his initial return, however, he found that he still had pain in his hand and that his conditioning was not up to par, so the Magic benched him--with his consent--so he could recover more fully.
"It's been a nightmare," Türkoğlu said of the last year-plus of his NBA life. "Two surgeries, summertime I was dealing with the shoulder injury and later I was dealing with the hand injury. It wasn't really a good year for me, and right now I'm facing this. It's sad. As a player, you face a lot of injuries, it comes and goes. But this situation, you don't wanna put yourself in. I think this is the worst one I'm dealing with right now."
Hennigan answered for Türkoğlu when one reporter asked him about his professional future. His contract is only partially guaranteed for the 2013/14 season. "I think we're gonna get through this step," Hennigan said. "We'll worry about the summer when the summer comes. Contracts are what they are. We need to make decisions about a lot of different things in the summer, and certainly Hedo's situation will be one of them. But we're not able to comment now on what that decision will be."
"I had my best years in Orlando," Turkoglu added. "I will always try to play as much as I can here. In certain situations, it's not in my hands. Like Rob said, we'll wait for when the summer comes and see what happens."