x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

NBA: Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu hit with 20-game steroids ban

The player, who will start his ban tonight, blamed a 'trainer' in Turkey after failing a test for methenolone.

Hedo Turkoglu (r) will face a 20-match ban after failing a drugs test.
Hedo Turkoglu (r) will face a 20-match ban after failing a drugs test.

Hedo Turkoglu has been hit with a 20-game ban by the National Basketball Association after failing a test for steroids.

The league said the 33-year-old Turkish native tested positive for the steroid methenolone.

The Orlando Magic forward blamed the positive test on a "trainer" in Turkey, but did not name the person who gave him the steroids.

"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," Turkoglu said in a statement. "

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 apologise to the Orlando Magic organisation, 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."

His suspension begins tonight, when the Magic face the Atlanta Hawks.

Meanwhile Tony Parker scored 24 points and Kawhi Leonard sunk a game-winning three-pointer in the dying seconds as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-95.

The Spurs were down by two when Leonard made the crucial play with less than three seconds left on the clock for San Antonio's third straight win.

Parker added seven assists to his points haul and received support from Gary Neal who scored 15 off the bench. Dion Waiters led the Cavaliers with 20.

The Los Angeles Clippers scored 46 points in the first quarter on their way to a 106-96 win over the Houston Rockets.

Blake Griffin led the way with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups added 19 points apiece.

Paul George had a triple-double as the Indiana Pacers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 101-77.

George had 23 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to achieve the feat for the first time in his career, while Tyler Hansbrough added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Alan Anderson scored 26 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 92-88 win over the New York Knicks.

It was a fourth straight win for the Raptors while the Atlantic-leading Knicks have now lost back-to-back games.

Josh Smith and Al Horford turned in dominant performances to help the Atlanta Hawks overwhelm the Orlando Magic 108-76.

Smith scored 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, while Horford had 26 points and a dozen boards.

Brandon Bass led all scorers with 14 points for Boston as the Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls 71-69 in a low-scoring encounter.

The Celtics won despite scoring just eight points in the third period and 11 in the second.

Vince Carter poured in 26 points to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a 123-100 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Joe Johnson scored 26 points in the Brooklyn Nets' 119-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Monta Ellis scored 28 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 94-92 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, while the Detroit Pistons saw off the Washington Wizards 96-85.

The Utah Jazz beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-93 and the New Orleans Hornets were 99-63 winners over the Portland Trail Blazers.

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