Kiefer Ravena is suspended from international play for 18 months after violating FIBA’s anti-doping policy.
In an 11-page decision, the body revealed that NLEX’s prized rookie tested positive for methylhexaneamine, dimethylbutylamine (DMBA), and higenamine – all of which are in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) List of Prohibited Substances and Methods.
Ravena underwent a random doping control test after the Philippines’ 89-84 victory over Japan in the second window of the World Cup 2019 Qualifiers on February 25 here in Manila.
A WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada confirmed the test results.
In a written statement to the body dated April 5, Ravena explained that he consumes a pre-workout drink called C4, which can be bought from retailers around the metro. He ran out of supplies shortly before a training camp in Australia and took DUST, a supplement which is mixed with water and is supposedly similar to C4.
DUST, Ravena explained, was supposed to help maintain and recover energy and he had no idea that it had banned substances since it was readily available for sale.
The 24-year-old combo guard then admitted that he did not disclose DUST in a doping control form that players had to fill out and described it as “an honest mistake.”
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) conducted their own investigation in April and later wrote to FIBA to appeal for leniency, maintaining Ravena’s honest and candid conduct when they looked into the findings.
The panel acknowledged SBP and Ravena’s explanations, saying that his lack of intention to consciously dope does not merit a multi-year ban.
However, FIBA still decided that Ravena’s negligence and lack of anti-doping education merited the ineligibility.
The ban will run from February 25 until August 24, 2019. This means that Ravena will miss the rest of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, where he averaged 7.3 points and 3.3 assists in 17.5 minutes per game.
(by Eros Christian Villanueva)