Gold remains with Gilas despite Brownlee’s failed doping test, says POC
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) assured Gilas Pilipinas will retain its 19th Asian Games basketball gold medal despite the failed doping test of Justin Brownlee.
“The gold remains with us,” said POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino in a statement on Friday.
The naturalized Gilas star, who led the Philippines to an amazing gold medal run to rule the Asiad basketball after 61 years, tested positive for the banned Carboxy-THC — linked to cannabis use — during a test on October 7, the International Testing Agency (ITA) said.
The POC president said the only time Gilas’ victory will be forfeited is if two of Brownlee’s teammates also test positive.
All the Gilas players have also been tested as well as their final opponent Jordan, which also had one player–Sami Bzai–failing the test, according to Tolentino.
Tolentino cited Article 11.2 of the Anti-Doping Rule of the International Olympic Committee, which states:
“If more than two members of a team in a Team Sport is found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation … the CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] Anti-Doping Division may impose an appropriate sanction on the team (e.g., loss of points, Disqualification from a Competition, Event or the Olympic Games Rio 2016, or other sanction) as provided in the applicable rules of the relevant International Federation, in addition to any consequences imposed upon the individual Athletes committing the anti-doping rule violation.”
Brownlee has until October 19 to contest the result of his A Sample through appropriate procedures set by the International Olympic Committee, ITA, and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
If the 35-year-old Brownlee also yields a positive result on his B Sample, he will serve a two-year suspension from basketball.
“All Brownlee needs is to prove his innocence in contesting the result if he allows testing his B Sample,” Tolentino said.
The Barangay Ginebra star was the second athlete from the Philippines, who yielded a positive result for doping on their A Sample taken in Hangzhou, China. Mountain bike cycling athlete Ariana Evangelista tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO), which enhances performance.
Both Brownlee and Evangelista are provisionally suspended until after the results of their B sample are analyzed in their defense.