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EJ Obiena further asserts innocence from doping accusations with lie detector tests

By Melanie Uson Published Oct 20, 2023 10:37 am

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena provided additional evidence of his innocence from doping accusations with negative results from doping tests and "truthful" results from polygraph and EyeDetect tests. 

Following the accusation made by Anais Lavillenie, the wife of 2012 Olympics gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie of France, Obiena’s camp maintained their stance that he is clear of doping. 

In a virtual press conference on Thursday, Oct. 19, his camp highlighted that Obiena has undergone 34 drug tests since turning pro conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) including 11 this year, in which all had negative results.  

“He has never tested positive for any banned substance whatsoever under World Anti-Doping Agency testing,” James Michael Lafferty shared. 

Lafferty also addressed possible refutes that there are ways to “manipulate” the results even though he passed the doping tests, so they further proved EJ is drug-free by taking polygraph exams or lie detector tests and EyeDetect, where Obiena has “volunteered [to do] immediately.” 

“At the end of the test of Mr. Obiena, it was determined that there was no deception indicated on any of the relevant questions asked dealing with doping,” said Hester Du Plessis, a certified polygraph examiner from South Africa. 

She also shared that his EyeDetect test also got “truthful” results, with 80 and 99 scores. 

“All the tests are consistent with one another, and it is also unbiased,” she said. 

For his part, Obiena asserted that he has never used any banned substance in his life.  

“For me, personally, the accusations were made pretty baseless. It did not just affect me, personally, but the team and my coach, personally as well, and people I work with,” he said.

“I’m not a cheat, I didn’t do anything to enhance my performance illegally. It’s all because of the hard work of the team, and therefore I believe that statement really damaged the reputation that I’ve carefully built the past few years,” he added, adding that he is “pissed” about the allegations. 

“I had not talked to this woman. I know her, but personally, I have not interacted with her. For her to say this out in public, against me, my team, and my coach, makes me fuming,” he said. 

Meanwhile, his camp is still assessing if they will push through with legal action against Lavillenie, with Lafferty sharing that one of the reasons why they did tests is to “bolster the legal case.” 

“Now, we are keeping that option open and evaluating the pros and cons of it. I mean, we also have to remember that this is an Olympic year, and there are many considerations involved in whether we go the legal route. We will let you know very, very soon if we’re gonna file a case or not. But for now, it’s under evaluation,” he added. 

Obiena recently won the Philippines' first gold medal of the 2023 Asian Games. He currently ranks second in the world in men's pole vault, per the World Athletics Organization.