Souring relationship EJ Obiena considers retirement if no public apology from PATAFA photo Inquirer.net
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Souring relationship: EJ Obiena considers retirement if no public apology from PATAFA

Nov 22, 2021, 6:19 AM
Nicole Pulido

Nicole Pulido

Writer

The record-breaking pole vaulter allegedly failed to pay his coach, Vitaly Petrov, a total of 85,000 euros (P4.8 million), the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) charged - an accusation that EJ Obiena and his coach denied.

Tokyo Olympics pole vaulter EJ Obiena is now hinting at an “early retirement” after allegations of false liquidation reports made against him by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

PATAFA recently submitted documents to the Philippine Daily Inquirer alleging that Obiena has falsified his liquidations that he submitted to the federation for his financial assistance.

The pole vaulter allegedly failed to pay his coach, Vitaly Petrov, a total of 85,000 euros (P4.8 million), the federation charged.

As of writing, Obiena’s training funds in Italy have been temporarily suspended.

This report was filed last Saturday (November 20), and it took Obiena only a day to hit back at the federation.

On Sunday night (November 21), Obiena took a firm stand on his statement about the funding allegations claiming that these reports have no basis.

"I welcome any court of law to shed light under the power of evidence and investigate this matter," said the 26-year-old pole vaulter.

"I've also filed formal complaints with the POC (Philippine Olympic Committee), IOC (International Olympic Committee) and World Athletics, as we are now talking slander and defamation of character. I have retained legal counsel, and I do intend to pursue this vigorously," he claimed.
"The only resolution to this now, is a full and public withdrawal of investigation, and a full public apology from the authorities involved in this.”

Obiena was accompanied by his coach, the Ukrainian Petrov, to the press conference, and they displayed a copy of a letter sent by Petrov to PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico.

Petrov was quick to support his athlete in denying that there are pending payments to him.

"My coaching fee for the period in question is a total of 85,000 euros. I have been fully paid this sum by EJ, both directly and indirectly. I confirm this. I have no problem with EJ Obiena. All is good, and we are preparing for the world championships and of course, the Olympics in Paris in 2024," the coach said.

The issue at hand, however, is "destroying" Obiena, the coach stressed, clearly worried for his athlete.

The 24-year-old is currently training in Formia, Italy as he is preparing for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games next year.

Tags: #sports, #polevaulting, #EJObiena, #financing, #PATAFA


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