Friday, June 18, 2010

Juan Dixon Could Be Ruled Eligible to Play Again Next Season

The Malaga, Spain, newspaper Sur reports that Juan Dixon (1998-2002) might be ruled eligible (translation) again by FIBA in time for next season. FIBA is expected to announce its ruling within the next week.

To summarize the story: while playing for Aris in Greece last fall, Dixon was given a drug test by the Greek Anti-Doping Agency. That agency completed its tests and announced a positive result for nandrolone in February, but by then, Dixon had switched teams to play for Unicaja Malaga in Spain. Juan was suspended indefinitely, pending further investigation. Normally, punishment for a positive steroid test would be a 2-year suspension by FIBA, but there are mitigating circumstances in Dixon's case. Nandrolone is found in some vitamin supplements and is legal in the US (though banned by the NBA); Dixon's lawyers contend that he took the supplement before signing in Greece. Also, the level of nandrolone in Dixon's system was so minimal that a second sample had to be sent to another laboratory in Germany to be confirmed because the Greek lab was uncertain about the result. This lends support to the claim that Dixon accidentally ingested small amounts of the steroid in a supplement without realizing it. Because of these factors, some sources are saying that Dixon's suspension might be only 3-6 months, and he has already served 5 months at this point. If he is available next season, Unicaja has expressed an interest in resigning him, as he was averaging nearly 19 points per game for them in ACB league games before the suspension.

No comments: