POC chief: Justin Brownlee now preparing to file an appeal

Justin Brownlee is currently in the process of securing documents in preparation for an appeal after the Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player failed a drug test during the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou China, as per Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino.

Tolentino stated on Saturday that he spoke with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas as well as Brownlee’s representatives, who are now checking on the medications taken by Brgy. Ginebra’s resident import when he was still nursing an injury.

The 35-year old Brownlee had ankle surgery to remove bone spurs prior to his stint with the national team in the continental meet.

“Ang inaasikaso na muna niya ‘yung mga medical documents niya at kung ano ‘yung pinrescribe sa kanya nung nasa medication siya sa United States ng doctor, certifications that will be needed in case mag-appeal after the opening of B sample and if after the opening, nag-positive uli,” said Tolentino during Noli Eala’s Power & Play program.

Brownlee is facing a lengthy two-year suspension from FIBA-sanctioned tournaments if his B sample returns a positive result.

After a substance test on October 7, or a day after the Filipinos bagged the gold in Men’s 5×5 basketball, it was discovered that Brownlee’s urine contained Carboxy-THC, a drug related to cannabis which is a WADA-prohibited substance.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will receive the result of the B sample and it is also there where the appeal will be lodged.

“We were given up to [October] 19 kung susundin namin ‘yung rights ni Brownlee na pupunta ng Beijing at titignan mo ‘yung opening ng B sample, or send a representative or online or waive your rights. Kahit anong mangyari after October 19, the International Testing Agency, for sure, they will schedule an opening of the B sample with or without witnesses.”

“If that will be positive again, iimplement na ‘yung two-year suspension. That’s the time that we will file a case sa CAS to appeal and to justify whatever kaya dapat maipon lahat ng medication niya. It’s part of the prohibited but hindi enhancing drugs ‘yun at ginamit talaga when he was injured kung meron nga. Kung mapatunayan at nakita ng CAS, they might lower the suspension to one month to three months,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino believes Brownlee may have a strong case if he appeals to CAS, given that he was rehabilitating from his injury in the United States when he ingested the prohibited substance.

“Talagang under medication siya at injured siya. Doon siya nagpapagaling sa US na legal ang whatever medication just like in Europe and just recently in Thailand using THC. ‘Yun ang kailangan malaman kung merong nahaluan or may content of whatever. Hindi lang nadeclare agad na merong ganun so dadaan talaga sa proseso,” explained Tolentino.

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