Ricci Rivero shows proof of negative drug use, cries foul over 'gay benefactor' rumors

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 7) — La Salle standout Ricci Rivero issued a lengthy statement addressing rumors of drug use and association with gay benefactors on Twitter on Wednesday.

"I am aware of all the rumors and speculations circulating on social media and all those who personally expressed their concern to us from inside and outside the community," Rivero said. "Buzzes about alleged drug usage and alleged acceptance of money from gay benefactors."

He first addressed the allegation over drug use.

"I am NEGATIVE to all types of substance contrary to initial report that I was tested positive for drugs," Rivero said in his statement.


To reinforce his claim, Rivero included a certified true copy of a hair follicle drug test result reported on February 9, 2018 and certified just five days after.

The tests showed the La Salle player tested negative.

Rivero was also accused to have accepted money from gay benefactors, a claim he denied.

"As for the lewd rumor -- please do not disrespect the hard work of my parents to provide for me and my siblings. We are all working hard to help each other sustain a big family like ours. Me, simply accepting money is an insult -- it is foul," he said.

His statement comes after the De La Salle University Office of Sports Development's (OSD) confirmed that Rivero, along with brother Prince Rivero and teammate Brent Paraiso, have requested to take a leave of absence from the men's basketball team.

According to the OSD, the trio violated a school rule that prohibits players from entering sponsorship agreements with commercial entities.

Despite the statement from the OSD, rumors swirled in basketball circles that the three players were actually punished due to alleged drug use.

In Rivero's statement, the young cager also clarified why he took a leave of absence.

"My leave of absence is not about choosing priorities and greed, but it is about honoring my commitments and respecting the new team rules that was just implemented," Rivero said.

Rivero's statement did not deny nor confirm whether or not he is still with the La Salle Green Archers; nor did he mention his brother Prince and teammate Brent Paraiso.

Ricci Rivero showed promise for the Taft-based squad after registering an average of 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in his sophomore year, which allowed him to bag the Most Improved Player award in Season 80.

Prince Rivero and Paraiso, meanwhile, were bench players who played a vital role to La Salle's front court.