Justin Brownlee may have taken medicine with traces of cannabis, says SBP
POC says marijuana as a form of therapy is legal in a lot of parts in the world
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) thinks that the prohibited substance containing cannabis, which was found in Justin Brownlee’s urine sample, came from medicines he unknowingly took, and was prescribed to him when he was recovering in the United States where he had a surgery to remove bone spurs from his foot.
Bambol Tolentino, Philippine Olympic Committee president, said that this was what the SBP told him about how the banned substance Carboxy-THC, which has traces of cannabis use, ended in the urine sample of naturalized ace of Gilas Pilipinas that caused him to fail the doping test taken by the International Testing Agency (ITA) during the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Justin Brownlee failed doping test
The nation awoke to news that the naturalized ace of Gilas Pilipinas, which ended a 61-year wait to win the Asian Games (Asiad) gold medal last week, having failed a doping test and had put him in danger of being suspended for at least two years.
POC president Tolentino, though, assured the country that the gold would remain in the hands of the Filipinos as Olympic Council of Asia rules stipulated that there should be at least three players that needed to be found positive in order for a team to be disqualified or stripped of whatever medal.
It was also Tolentino who told the Inquirer over the phone of the SBP’s initial finding on how the prohibited substance Carboxy-THC, which has traces of cannabis use, was found in Brownlee’s urine sample.
“The SBP told me that Brownlee stayed for a long time in the US to recover (from a surgery),” Tolentino said. “They think it came from medicines he was prescribed there. And as you know, there are a lot of States that have legalized (cannabis) for treatment.
‘Form of therapy’
“Marijuana as a form of therapy is legal in a lot of parts of the world now, including Thailand.”
Brownlee had been training with Gilas in the lead-up to the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) World Cup, which the country cohosted with Indonesia and Japan. He excused himself in late July when Jordan Clarkson, the half-Filipino who plays for Utah in the NBA, confirmed his participation in the 32-nation spectacle eventually won by Germany.
The resident Barangay Ginebra import in the PBA took that time to have the bone spurs removed, as the injury had been nagging him in the past and knowing that he can be tapped in lieu of Clarkson for the Asiad.
He played with that injury in the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games, where he led the PH crew to the gold over the hosts.
POC assurance on Gilas medals
Only the POC, through Tolentino, is allowed to speak on the matter and the concurrent mayor of Tagaytay gave the assurance that the labors of the National Five in Hangzhou, China, will not go to waste.
“They need to find at least three players (with failed drug tests) for us to be stripped,” Tolentino said. “And since the results of that testing day had come out already, all the 11 other members of the team have effectively been cleared.”
Sam Bzai of Jordan, which disputed the title with the Philippines in Hangzhou, was also found to have traces of a performance-enhancing steroid. No other Jordanian player, whose samples were also collected on the same day as the Filipinos, failed the drug test.
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