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EJ Obiena to explore legal options after doping accusation

By NICK GARCIA Published Oct 16, 2023 12:27 pm

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena is looking to explore legal options after he was accused of doping.

Facebook page "Vaulter Magazine - Vaulter Club Inc." on Oct. 13 shared a quote card from a media publication dated Oct. 12, in which Obiena said he can beat the world's top pole vaulter, Sweden's Armand Duplantis, at the Paris Olympics in 2024. Obiena is No. 2.

Several users commented, including the account of Anais Lavillenie, the wife of 2012 Olympics gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie of France.

"Obeina [sic] doped and it'll fall like Braz. Same coach, Same plan, same objective!" the account's comment read, along with a face vomiting emoji.

A user directly asked if the account meant Obiena was taking PEDs or performance-enhancing drugs, but didn't reply.

The 27-year-old athlete shared a screenshot of the exchange on Oct. 15.

"I want to remain classy and dignified on this subject. All I will say is I am disappointed, angry, and feel wronged by these statements," he said.

"I will let the story evolve while my team explores the many angles including legal. I guess this is part of the price you pay when you win."

Obiena previously bagged gold at the Southeast Asian Games last May, his third one in the biennial meet, after clearing a new record 5.65m.

In June, he joined the exclusive "six-meter club" after clearing 6.0m at the Bergen Jump Challenge in Norway, the first Filipino and Asian to do so.

Last July, he qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics after clearing 5.82m at the Stockholm Diamond League - Bauhaus Galan in Sweden.