Sonny Weems in danger of getting FIBA ban (updated with player’s comments)

EuroLeague
Photo: EuroLeague

Difficulties that Maccabi Tel Aviv are facing this season might not be over yet. They might get even bigger if the latest reports turn out to be true.

According to Lithuanian basketball news website krepsinis.net, Sonny Weems is in danger of getting punished by FIBA after refusing to take a FIBA-sanctioned doping test. His teammates Victor Rudd and Gal Mekel followed orders and took the test.

FIBA Internal Regulations state that refusing or failing without compelling justification to submit to sample collection after notification as authorized in the Anti-Doping Regulations, or otherwise evading constitutes anti-doping rule violation. The player who violates these rules could be banned for a period of two years.

For Weems, who turns 31 the coming summer, a two-year ban could potentially be a career-ender. At least as far career in high level competition is concerned.

In addition, it is reported that Weems missed the team’s training session. As a result he could also face sanctions from Maccabi for violating club’s internal rules.

Weems returned to Europe last summer after two quiet season in the NBA. The 30-year-old forward averages 11.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for Maccabi this season in EuroLeague.

Meanwhile Maccabi (7-13) are still not losing hope of making EuroLeague playoffs. Three-time champions of modern EuroLeague are sitting in 14th position with just one win behind the 10th placed Zalgiris and three wins behind 8th spot.

∞ ∞ ∞ UPDATE ∞ ∞ ∞

Weems denied the rumours that he failed WADA drug test by releasing the following statement via David Pick:

I have never taken drugs in my life. I passed three drug tests in the NBA. I was locked here in a room from 18:00PM to 00:30AM and I filled eight cups of urine, but was told it was diluted with water. They gave me the water to drink to speed the process. Reports that I did drugs or refused to take the test are lies. My 3-year-old son, Alenas, was waiting by himself sacred at the airport from 21:00PM to 01:00AM. He doesn’t even speak any English and was waiting for me terrified. I love Maccabi, I love the fans, I want to be here, I want to win championships here.

The above statement caused other speculations in Lithuanian media, not related with the main topic. It was quickly spotted by Lithuanian media that the name of Weems’ son (Alenas), mentioned in the statement above, is of Lithuanian form.

Weems spent the 2011-2012 season playing for Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania. His son could have been born in early 2013 which would make him 3-years-old at the time when the statement was released. According to the data of official registers, there was one child born with the name Alenas in 2013. Also, Weems stated that his son doesn’t speak English which adds more wight to these speculations.

∞ ∞ ∞ UPDATE #2 ∞ ∞ ∞

Isreali journalist David Pick reports that Weems was dismissed from the team and will no longer play for Maccabi.