FOSHAN, China – Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao feels Kiefer Ravena is being picked on after getting subjected to another random drug test on the day before they face Serbia in the FIBA World Cup on Monday, September 2.
Ravena got tested for the second time in 4 days – presumably due to his 18-month FIBA suspension that ended barely two weeks ago.
"Parang hindi na random," the outspoken tactician told Filipino reporters with a chuckle when asked about the drug test. "Hindi random 'yun ah. I think medyo hindi accurate 'yung word na 'random'."
(I think it's not random anymore. I think the word "random" is an inaccurate way to describe it.)
"Maybe they're really picking on him. Kaka-drug test lang niya, kaka-blood test lang niya, inulit."
(Maybe they're really picking on him. He just underwent a drug test, blood test, and they did it again.)
Although not convinced that it was a random selection, Guiao said they're not worried for Ravena.
"Eh wala naman tayong tinatago, so okay lang sa atin. Wala naman tayong kailangang hindi ipaalam sa kanila eh," Guiao said.
(We don't have anything to hide from them, so it's okay with us. We don't have anything we don't want them knowing.)
"Kung gusto nilang tatlong beses isang araw siya dina-drug test, puwede rin 'yun. Wala namang problema sa atin 'yun."
(If they want to have him tested 3 times a day, that can be done. That's not a problem with us.)
Ravena, meanwhile, does not take the drug tests personally as the Philippines aims to redeem itself from a 46-point loss to Italy when it faces Serbia.
"You know, it's part of the tournament I guess. They told us that anytime within the tournament you can get called," Ravena said.
"We're focused on Serbia. It's going to be a fun night for us. Hopefully, a better performance than Italy. I guess I'll be having a lot more drug test interviews with you guys as long as the tournament is ongoing."
But Ravena has something to say to his critics, who have kept on insisting he intentionally tried to cheat when he drank the pre-workout drink that contained the banned substances found in his system.
"May mga nagrereklamo kasi doon sa iba na sinabi ko daw na peace of mind ko pero dapat daw peace of mind ng kalaban daw para daw mapatunayan na hindi ako nandadaya 'di ba,"
(There are people saying that the drug test isn't for my peace of mind but for the peace of mind of the opponents, so that it will be proven that I'm not cheating.)
"That's just a wrong way of thinking about it I guess because in the first place, I never really tried to take advantage of anything or anyone within the game." – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.