POC slams Patafa for refusing to endorse EJ Obiena for major competitions
MANILA, Philippines–World-class pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena might be swept to the sidelines of four major international meets this year after the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association refused to endorse him.
“Again, how many more gold medals or what more achievements does EJ need to get Patafa’s endorsement?’’ said Philippine Olympic Committee president and Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino.
The Patafa turned down Obiena’s request to see action in the World Indoor Championships in Serbia on March 18-20 as well as the coming 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam (May 12-23) and 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China (September 12-25).
The Patafa letter of denial was signed by Patafa training director Renato Unso on Monday that will prevent the Tokyo Olympian and fifth-ranked vaulter in the world to participate in the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon on July 15-24.
“He’s the best in Asia and his numbers have been rising consistently, but still he’s bound to be denied more medals for the country,’’ said Tolentino.
Obiena’s squabble with his mother federation has been elevated by Patafa president Philip Ella Juico to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland on Feb. 11.
The Patafa accused Obiena of not paying the salaries of his Ukranian coach Vitaliy Petrov on time, prompting the track and field star to file a harassment case against Juico before the athletes commission that led to Juico being tagged as persona non grata by the POC.
“My 5.81 jump in my two title wins in the Orlen Cup (Feb. 13) and the Orlen Copernicus Cup (Feb. 23), both in Poland, officially made the standard required for the 2022 World Indoor Athletics Championship and 2022 World Athletics Championship,’’ said Obiena in his letter to Patafa.
“It is also better than my 2019 SEA Games gold medal standard and the 2018 Asian Games gold medal standard,’’ added Obiena.
The Patafa cited the non-completion of mediation procedures between Obiena and the federation for its denial to allow the Asian record holder from seeing action in the four tournaments.
The POC maintained that it would help Obiena represent the country in these meets.
“By authority of the Patafa Board of Trustees, please be informed that the Patafa Board of Trustees will not act on your letter, pending completion of the mediation process being conducted by the Philippine Sports Commission,’’ the Patafa said in its response.
“Nevertheless, the PATAFA Board of Trustees recognizes the urgency of the request and will fully cooperate with the PSC mediation with the intent of expediting the process.”
Read more: https://sports.inquirer.net/453190/poc-blasts-patafa-for-bringing-ej-obiena-rift-to-court-of-arbitration-for-sport#ixzz7MT9KrUtG
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