Rather, the more insidious charge of illegal performance-enhancer use has befallen Catalin Burlacu of Team Romania and seven-peat Romanian League champion CSU Ploiesti.
The test which ultimately came back positive was carried out on April 15, after a playoff game against BCMU Pitesti. Burlacu was found to be in violation by Romania’s “anti-doping agency” ANAD based on that test and originally was to suspend him from play as of May 19. This was withdrawn, however, and Burlacu was allowed to play game three of Romania’s league championship series against U Mobitelco Cluj-Napoca.
Beyond Team Romania and Burlacu himself, perhaps getting the worst end of the deal was the Ploiesti team doctor, who was suspended from sports activity for four years.
The two serious suspensions are to serve as something of an example for Romanian basketball, as Romanian Basketball Federation president Carmen Tocala stated upon announcement of Burlacu’s suspension, “If in the future an athlete is found with positive doping test, he will receive the maximum penalty. Next season, every team will be obliged to provide anti-doping tests.”
Tests for performance enhancers were run on 19 Pitesti and Cluj-Napoca players during the championship series; the results of these tests are expected this week.