MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Kiefer Ravena will not see action in the international basketball scene for a while.
FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, suspended the Gilas Pilipinas guard for 18 months after finding prohibited substances in his system, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) revealed on Monday, May 28.
Speaking at a press conference at the Launchpad in Mandaluyong, SBP president Al Panlilio announced that Ravena tested positive for 3 ingredients included in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) List of Prohibited Substances.
Ravena was randomly picked to undergo drug test after Gilas' home game against Japan last February 25 and after a few weeks, results revealed that he is positive for Dimethylbutylamine, Methylexaneamine and Higenamine.
After Sample A of his urine tested positive, Ravena's camp was given the opportunity to appeal and open Sample B of the same urine sample taken on the same day. Sample B also tested positive.
The 24-year-old cager – who was set to play for the Visayas All-Stars on Sunday, May 7, but was pulled out by the PBA following a request from SBP that he flies back to Manila immediately – said he took a pre-workout drink before the Gilas-Japan game.
"It's an over-the-counter product available for the general public but not found in drugstores that you mix with water and drink it before you work out or before games," he said.
While admitting what happened is "dreadful," Ravena said he takes full responsibility for his actions and added he should have been keener on analyzing the products he takes.
"Napakahirap isipin na umabot po sa ganito 'yung nangyari ng dahil lang sa kakulangan sa pag-iingat," he added.
(It is unfortunate to think that my lack of caution led to this.)
Panlilio said they would ask FIBA if the NLEX rookie's suspension would also affect his stint with the Road Warriors in the PBA.
While still monitoring the situation, Ravena will not suit up in NLEX's upcoming games.
The Road Warriors are set to face the Blackwater Elite on Wednesday, May 30, at the Araneta Coliseum as the PBA returns to regular action following the All-Star Week.
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.