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Justin Brownlee fails Asian Games drug test. Will Gilas Pilipinas' gold medal be taken away?

By NICK GARCIA Published Oct 13, 2023 12:24 pm

Gilas Pilipinas' naturalized player Justin Brownlee, who was instrumental in securing the country's first-ever Asian Games gold in men's basketball since 1962, failed the competition's drug test a day after the historic feat.

In a statement on Oct. 12, the International Testing Agency (ITA) said Brownlee tested positive for Carboxy-THC, a substance linked to marijuana and is prohibited by the International Olympic Committee's World Anti-Doping Agency.

The ITA said Brownlee was already notified and has the right to request the analysis of the B-samples. 

What does this mean for the gold medal?

Article 11 of the World Anti-Doping Code of 2021 states that if two or more team members violate anti-doping rules, sanctions include loss of points, disqualification, and additional consequences imposed upon the individual athlete.

Only Brownlee tested positive from the team.

In the past, the medals of some winning athletes who failed drug tests were taken away.

The Asian Games organizing committee has yet to release a statement about the impact of Brownlee's drug test on the Gilas Pilipinas gold. It also emphasized that it "may not be final and may be in dispute before the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

"The matter will thereafter be referred to the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport for adjudication under the OCA Anti-Doping Rules," the agency added.

A total of 10 athletes in the Asian Games tested positive for banned substances, including Filipino cyclist Ariana Evangelista and Jordan's Sami Bzai.