All eyes are on the ITA's decision
Philippine Olympic Committee President Bambol Tolentino has confirmed that it will no longer appeal to open Justin Brownlee’s B sample amid his failed doping test during the recently concluded 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
In an interview with News5, Tolentino revealed that an appeal had not been submitted due to a prior agreement between the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and Brownlee.
“Hindi na tayo magre-request ng opening B sample for the reason, iisa lang naman ang source ng B sample at A sample. Same urine, isa lang ang outcome. Gastos pa 'yun, pupunta pa tayo ng Beijing to witness the opening of the B sample. Ayun 'yung naging desisyon,” said Tolentino.
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With this in mind, Tolentino said that the POC, SBP, and Brownlee will just wait for the decision of the International Testing Agency (ITA) regarding Brownlee’s case.
“We will just wait for the final decision of ITA on whatever decision (it will make). It will be reported to FIBA, then FIBA will refer it to SBP,” said Tolentino
As for when the decision will be released, Tolentino mentioned that the POC is still in the dark about the specific timeline. It’s still unsure as well how long the possible suspension could be for the Gilas Pilipinas star if push comes to shove.
“Well, definitely, there will be a suspension, ayoko lang i-interpret kung gano ka tagal. Maybe one day, one month, or one year. Kung ‘yung una much better para naman makalaro siya sa PBA,” said Tolentino.
The POC and SBP are hoping that the ITA will take into account the possibility that the presence of carboxy-THC in Brownlee's system may be attributed to medication he used during his recovery from an ankle injury.
But with the situation surrounding Brownlee's case still uncertain, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is already looking at possible replacements for the six-time champion for the upcoming PBA Commissioner’s Cup, which is set to tip off this November.
The Filipino basketball community, meanwhile, is eagerly awaiting the final decision from the ITA, which will determine the next steps in this ongoing matter.