CAGERS' POST-REHAB WOES: PROSECUTION

Manila, May 24, 2003 -- The troubles of PBA players who have tested 
positive for illegal drugs do not necessarily end after they have completed 
their rehabilitation.

This was stressed by PBA technical chief Perry Martinez yesterday, saying 
players who have violated the country's anti-drugs laws would still be 
subject to prosecution from any government agency.

"The commissioner (Noli Eala) has made it clear from the start that any 
penalty imposed by the league would in no way prejudice any prosecution to 
be made by parties outside the PBA," said Martinez.

"Kaya kung merong ibang magha-habla, labas na ang PBA du'n."

So far, five players have tested positive for illegal drugs this season: 
Talk N Text's Asi Taulava and Norman Gonzales, San Miguel Beer's Dorian 
Pena, Red Bull's Jimwell Torion and Ginebra's Alex Crisano.

Taulava and Pena were suspended two games each for use of marijuana while 
Crisano, Torion and Gonzales were slapped indefinite suspensions for use of 
'heavier' substances.

Martinez explained the penalties are based on what illegal substance the 
players tested for. "Mas mabigat ang substance, mas mabigat ang penalty," 
he said.

He added the PBA used NBA rules as "barometer" for the penalties.

"Sa NBA nga, any drug na me amphethamine, banned agad ang player for two 
years. And the player would only be eligible for re-installment after two 
years," he pointed out.

The PBA has adopted relatively "lighter" penalties since Torion, Gonzales 
and Crisano will only have to wait six months before their cases are 
re-evaluated. (Noli Cortez, Malaya)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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