All eyes are on the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) regarding its plans on the failed doping test of Gilas Pilipinas star Justin Brownlee in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
During the PBA press conference on Tuesday, Gilas Pilipinas team manager and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel governor Alfrancis Chua provided some clarity on what they plan to do with Brownlee’s case.
Contrary to some suggesting that Brownlee’s B sample should be tested, Chua bared that they already decided not to do so.
“'Pag ico-contest mo, they’re gonna try to open ‘yung B (sample). Sinasabi namin siguro huwag na lang (ire-test) kasi ‘yung B (sample), ‘yun pa rin ‘yung ihi niya. Hindi siya ite-test ng panibagong urine,” said Chua.
“Kung ano 'yung urine niya before, ilalagay sa dalawang canister na nasa China. Tapos ‘yung pangalawa, 'pag in-open nila, ‘yun pa rin ‘yun,” he added.
This means that they will likely try to argue instead that the carboxy-THC, a prohibited substance according to the anti-doping regulations of the Asain Games, that was found in Brownlee’s A sample was used for medical reasons.
Brownlee and the SBP are currently in the process of collecting medical records to demonstrate that the presence of carboxy-THC in his system was a result of medication he took while recovering from an ankle injury that eventually necessitated surgery to remove bone spurs.
Carboxy-THC is usually linked to cannabis use.
“We’re just gonna wait kung anong sasabihin nila (Asian Games officials) tsaka ng SBP. So, now, wait and see kung ano gagawin kay Brownlee,” noted Chua.
If his case holds, JB could be suspended for up to two years.
Ginebra, the defending champion of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, is set to kick off its title defense on November 5. Brownlee's absence could disrupt the squad's quest to retain the championship.
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Along with this, there is the possibility that Brownlee might not be available for Gilas Pilipinas in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July.