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Ravena gets long FIBA ban after WADA-prohibited substances found in urine sample

Kiefer Ravena will miss the rest of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. PBA Media Bureau (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANDALUYONG--The real reason behind the sudden pull-off to Kiefer Ravena in the PBA All-Star Week is now known.

The SBP confirmed on Monday night that the spitfire NLEX guard was suspended by FIBA for 18 months due to a failed drug test.

In an emergency press conference at Launchpad, just beside the TV5 Media Center, officials from the SBP led by president Al Panlilio, chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan and executive director Sonny Barrios said that FIBA notified them that Ravena was tested positive of three substances that are considered prohibited by WADA.

"These are banned substances based on the WADA list. This is not a prohibited drug," clarified Panlilio.

Ravena was tested positive for banned substances following two examinations to his urine sample on Feb. 25 during Gilas' FIBA World Cup Qualifiers game against Japan at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

"Di po ako tinest nang dalawang beses. Sa isang testing lang po ako nakuhanan ng urine sample," clarified Ravena.

Ravena, who was supposed to play for the Visayas All-Stars in the final leg of the All-Star Week, quickly flew back to Manila from Iloilo City as per orders of the SBP regarding the said manner.

The one-and-a-half-year ban started right on the day of his urine sample examination and will last until Aug. 24, 2019, which means he will be eligible to suit up for Gilas if the team makes the 2019 FIBA World Cup, which will start a week later in China.

Panlilio then assured, "The SBP is doing its very best to help Kiefer in this situation and we'll continue to work with FIBA to fix this issue."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno