WITH no basketball activity for Kiefer Ravena for the next 18 months, the cage star did the next best thing to do.
The NLEX rookie guard recently served as special guest speaker in the first ever Anti-Doping and WADA Update seminar especially held for athletes bound for the Asian Games in Indonesia.
Ravena was joined by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) consultant for anti-doping and WADA Dr. Alejandro Pineda and Dr. Marion Rivera during the event held at the Philsports Arena recently.
The seminar was made through the initiative of the revived Athletes Commission chaired by Olympic silver medal winner Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting), triathlete Nikko Huelgas, Cheska Altamonte of softball, and karatedo’s James delos Santos.
The 24-year-old Ravena was handed out an 18-month suspension by FIBA after testing positive for ‘banned substances’ from an over-the-counter energy drink he consumed before Gilas Pilipinas’ game against Japan during the second window of the World Cup qualifier held last February.
The suspension prohibits Ravena from participating in any basketball related activities at least until August 19, 2019. The ban was in effect beginning Feb. 25 of this year.
“We’re very happy that Kiefer reached out and was more than willing to take part in this campaign,” said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) deputy secretary-general Karen Tachanco-Caballero.
“We wanted to use (the event) as a positive change not only for him (Ravena), but also sa fellow athletes niya,” added the president of the country’s sepak takraw association. “Iba pa rin if the athletes would have first-hand knowledge themselves. And for fellow athletes to talk about it comfortably about themselves.”
Caballero said those who will comprise the country’s delegation to the August 18 to September 2 Asiad were the priorities during the seminar.
“It was left to the discretion of the NSAs those who attended, although priority talaga yung mga Asian Games bound athletes,” she added. “Kasi if it happens to Kiefer, it could happen to anyone.”
The POC official hopes the session would only be the beginning of more anti-doping seminars in the future to educate and update Filipino athletes.
“If it would require succeeding sessions, we would be doing that every so often,” said Caballero.