Since tests for PEDs in the NBA began in 1999, very few players have been caught. Whether this is a function of steroids being less rampant in basketball, it’s difficult to gage. David Stern, for his part, scoffs at the suggestion. Congress, meanwhile, scoffs at David Stern; in 2009, they called the NBA’s PED testing procedures “pathetic.” So Stern acquiesced, and the league will implement HGH testing beginning next year.
In November, TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott dug into the drug testing loopholes, an investigation which uncovered the relative ease with which players could evade detection. It also lists the offenders caught, and the list is small and largely inconsequential:
2000: Don MacLean, for “steroids”
2001: Matt Geiger, for “steroids”
2002: Soumaila Samake, for the anabolic steroid nandrolone
2007: Lindsey Hunter, for the stimulant phentermine
2008: Darius Miles, for the stimulant phentermine
2009: Rashard Lewis, for the steroid DHEA
2011: O.J. Mayo, for the steroid DHEA
Today the NBA announced that another player has been caught: Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic for using Methenolone, and he will be suspended 20 games. You might recognize that substance as the same one for which Alex Rodriguez tested positive in 2003.
Turkoglu, it should be noted, is not contesting the positive result, but is instead maintaining his ignorance, and therefore innocence.
Via Eye On Basketball:
“‘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.’
Magic general manager Rob Hennigan released one as well:
‘Hedo unknowingly took a banned substance. 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.’
According to the NBA’s drug suspension policy, a second positive test would earn a player a 45-game suspension, and a third a lifetime ban.
We’d also like to mention that this makes two players from the Orlando Magic 2010 finals team to test positive for steroids – Rashard Lewis being the other one – which, then, begs the question: Dw (*cough*) ht How (*cough*) d?