By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) recently gave an update regarding Justin Brownlee’s sanction last January 30, 2024, during the press conference of the Manila Hustle 3×3 tournament.
According to SBP executive director Erika Dy, Brownlee’s fate will be decided this week by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
Gilas Pilipinas’ historic gold medal achievement in the recently concluded Asian Games suddenly turned into jeopardy after the naturalized superstar failed his drug test announced last October 12, 2023.
The International Testing Agency (ITA) revealed the shocking update and explained that Brownlee tested positive for Carboxy-THC.
Carboxy-THC is the main secondary metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol, a drug that is often linked to cannabis.
The drug is widely prohibited in any professional sports tournament including the Asian Games which conducts strict testing to maintain the level of fairness in the competition.
According to the ITA, Brownlee’s samples were collected last October 7, 2023, during an in-competition anti-doping control.
Brownlee had one of the best runs in the history of the Asian Games men’s basketball after helping Gilas pull off a stunning come-from-behind victory over China to secure their gold medal duel against Jordan.
Down by seven points with only 1:36 remaining in the crucial semifinal game, Brownlee went beast mode and unloaded eight straight points in 67 seconds to dispatch China, 77-76.
Brownlee finished his legendary game with 33 points with 17 of those all coming in the fourth quarter, leaving the pro-Chinese crowd in shock as they walked out with the victory.
Since the announcement last October 2023, FIBA has yet to confirm Brownlee’s level of penalty regarding the number of months in his suspension from basketball activity.
Dy added that they are hoping that Brownlee will only be receiving the lowest degree, which is a three-month suspension.
However, the SBP already prepared for the situation ever since Brownlee tested positive and disallowed the small forward from participating in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) as an import.
With that being said, Brownlee’s suspension will end this February 8, 2024, and will make him available for the first window of the FIBA Asian Qualifiers.