- Kiefer Ravena was tested positive for banned substances
- He has been slapped with 18-month suspension by FIBA
- The PBA rookie standout has apologized but clarified the substances are not illegal drugs
MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas guard Kiefer Ravena has apologized to the public following his 18-month suspension by FIBA after testing positive for banned substances.
The 24-year-old PBA rookie sensation clarified, however, that his suspension is not due to taking illegal drugs but for testing positive for substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Ravena said the substance were found in his system after taking a prework out drink which is readily available in supermarkets and groceries.
The random test was conducted last February during Gilas’ World Cup qualifying game against Japan at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
“I am in front of you guys to take full responsibility for my actions, despite how painful and dreadful it is,” said Ravena.
The PBA standout added it was an ‘honest mistake’ because he was not aware the pre-work out drinks contained the banned substances – Higenamine, 1,3-Dimethylbutylamine, and 4-Methylhexan-2-amine – which were found in his system.
“I regret taking this pre-workout drink without analyzing or taking extra time to research its ingredients,” he added.
While serving the suspension, which runs from February 25, 2018, to August 24, 2019, Ravena vowed to raise awareness about banned substances among Filipino athletes.
“If I can be an instrument of this advocacy in the Philippines, I’ll be open to helping other athletes avoid being in this position where I am right now,” he said during a press conference on Monday. “You have to be careful, you can’t be too lackadaisical with the things that you purchase.”
Meanwhile, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has ordered the review of all energy drinks available in the market following the latest controversy involving the basketball star.
While Ravena declined to name the energy drink in question, reports said the athlete was referring to the pre-work out supplement “Dust Extreme”.