THE PBA said it will respect the decision of Fiba to suspend NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena for 18 months after testing positive for drugs banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
PBA chairman Ricky Vargas made the announcement following a special board meeting on Thursday, where the board said it will also not allow Ravena to play in the professional league.
The decision came after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) received the clarification letter from Fiba with regards to the ban on Ravena, who had hoped to be allowed to play for NLEX.
“It is very clear in the ruling na all leagues, even events, except for activities that relate to anti-doping. It is clear that he is not allowed to play in any league,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.
“The board did take the decision of Fiba as very serious because it has affected one of its star players,” Vargas said in a press conference following the special board meeting.
“But it also recognizes that we are a member of the SBP. As a member of the SBP, we respect the rules SBP would promulgate and that is in consonance with the Fiba ruling of suspension.”
Vargas also asked PBA commissioner Willie Marcial to take a look at how other leagues, such as the Euroleague, handle such Fiba suspensions, and organize an educational campaign on the list of Wada banned substances for local physical therapists, team doctors and team managers.
“There was a discussion, a very serious discussion in the board as to whether we would defy the Fiba decision to suspend. But after all the discussion, we said we can’t act on it retroactively. We have to look at it moving forward, thus the action that we said we will be taking.
“We also talked about the consequences of not following Fiba order and the board members very reasonably discussed the consequences. What is the consequence to the SBP, but also, who knows the consequence. Maybe Fiba will stop allowing imports to come play with us because we are not compliant to the whole thing,” said Vargas.