The revelation of Justin Brownlee’s failed doping test in Hangzhou has not altered the fate of the Philippines’ victorious men’s 5×5 basketball team at the Hangzhou 19th Asian Games, confirmed Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
In a statement made on Friday, October 13, Tolentino assured that the gold medal for men’s basketball remains with the Philippines, despite Brownlee’s positive doping test. However, he specified that the gold medal could be forfeited only if two of Brownlee’s Gilas Pilipinas teammates also tested positive for doping.
Tolentino pointed to Article 11.2 of the Anti-Doping Rule of the International Olympic Committee, which addresses “Consequences for Team Sports.” It states that if more than two members of a team in a Team Sport are found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation, the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) Anti-Doping Division may impose an appropriate sanction on the team. This could include the loss of points, disqualification from a competition, event, or the Olympic Games, or other relevant sanctions, in addition to any consequences imposed upon individual athletes who committed anti-doping rule violations.
Justin Brownlee is the second athlete from Team Philippines who has tested positive for doping, as indicated by an “Adverse Analytical Finding” on his A Sample taken during the Hangzhou Games. Ariana Evangelista, a mountain bike cycling athlete, had previously received a positive doping result when she was randomly tested ahead of her competition earlier in the games.
Both Brownlee and Evangelista are currently under provisional suspension until the results of their respective B samples are analyzed as part of their defense. Brownlee has until October 19 to contest the result of his A Sample through the appropriate procedures established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Testing Agency (ITA), and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Tolentino emphasized that Brownlee’s path to vindication depends on the results of his B sample. If the B sample also yields a positive result, a two-year suspension would be imposed.
The situation involving doping tests in the Asian Games is not unique to the Philippines, as Tolentino mentioned that Brownlee’s teammates have also been tested. Furthermore, their final opponent, Jordan, has also experienced a player testing positive.
In light of these developments, the focus is on the athletes’ ability to prove their innocence and ensure that fair and accurate determinations are made regarding any potential doping violations. Despite the challenges presented by these positive tests, the Philippines continues to celebrate its successful campaign in the 19th Asian Games, with a gold medal in men’s basketball that remains a source of national pride.