LIFETIME BAN FOR PBL DOPE OFFENDERS

Manila, May 28, 2003 -- Philippine Basketball League (PBL) Commissioner 
Chino Trinidad yesterday said an outright ban awaits players found to be 
using prohibited drug substance as the PBL is set to conduct a mandatory 
league-wide drug test at the end of the 2003 Sunkist-PBL Unity Cup.

Speaking before sportswriters during the Philippine Sportswriters 
Association Forum at the Holiday Inn Manila, Trinidad bared the drug test 
is part of the league's commitment to "produce athletes who could serve as 
role models of the youth."

"This idea has been conceptualized long ago. Medyo mahal lang ito but 
again, the league would like to contribute and curb the drug menace in our 
own little way dahil gusto naming mailayo ang mga bata sa droga," Trinidad 
explained.

The PBL has actually entered into partnership with Asia Pacific Medical and 
Diagnostic Services Inc. The APMDSI will be in charge of conducting the 
mandatory drug test to the 135 players currently under contract in the nine 
existing PBL ball clubs.

An ordinary drug test according to Trinidad would cost P600. But if a 
player is found to have traces of banned substances in his system, a second 
test would cost higher.

"Medyo magastos talaga kaya nga sa mga ma-test na positive sa drugs, they 
will have to undergo a detoxification process. Of course, kung tested 
positive, banned na sila. The only way for them to go back to their 
respective teams is if they could show us a proof that they are already 
clean and na-rehabilitate na talaga," he added.

Trinidad also ensured that every result from the drug test would be 
confidential.

"Ayaw naman naming ma-subject sa public humiliation ang bata. We're also 
protecting their future. Actually, the whole idea here is mailayo sila sa 
droga. Part of our agreement with the medical firm is naka-code lang ang 
bawat player and ako lang ang may access sa Internet so I'll be able to 
know sino ang positive at negative.

"Now, kung sino man ang positibo, ipatatawag na namin at kakausapin. Dun 
kasi sa gagawing test, malalaman natin kung regular user ba ang isang 
player or paminsan-minsan lang. If the content found in his system is high, 
then he has to go through rehabilitation," the PBL chief said. (By Richard 
Dy, Tribune)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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