Patafa defers EJ Obiena expulsion from national team for two weeks
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association said on Thursday that it is postponing the implementation of its recommendations to expel Olympian EJ Obiena from the national team.
Patafa Chairman Rufus Rodriguez sent a letter to Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez of the national sports association’s decision to defer the implementation of its sanction against Obiena for two weeks.
Other sanctions found on Patafa’s fact-finding report are filing a complaint against Petrov to the World Athletics for violation of its code of conduct, as well as the termination of the Ukrainian as a Philippine pole vaulting coach, and the declaration of Obiena’s adviser Jim Lafferty as persona-non-grata.
Rodriguez said that their decision to defer the sanctions was in accordance to Malacañang’s comments on the rift between Obiena and Patafa President Philip Ella Juico.
“On behalf of the Patafa’s Board of Directors, the Patafa has agreed to defer the implementation of the recommendation made in the fact-finding report dated December 29, 2021 for a period of two weeks,” wrote Rodriguez in the letter.
Malacañang said on Wednesday that it supports Obiena and it also wished for a peaceful resolution between the pole vaulter and Patafa.
“Patafa strongly urges all of the parties to submit to PSC Mediation and explain the matter of liquidation at the said forum,” added Rodriguez.
Patafa announced on Tuesday that it will be expelling Obiena from the national team.
Patafa, back in November 2021, ordered Obiena to return 85,000 euros after he allegedly falsified liquidation reports regarding payments made to Petrov.
Obiena and Juico has since been embroiled in an ugly back-and-forth that also resulted to the Philippine Olympic Committee declaring the Patafa president persona-non-grata.