Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper Shop Hello! Create with us

EJ Obiena finds 'closure' from PATAFA row after CoA, PSA clearance

By NICK GARCIA Published Apr 16, 2022 11:32 am

Filipino pole vaulter and World No. 5 EJ Obiena said he has found "closure" from his months-long public row with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) after reportedly getting clearance from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSA) and the Commission on Audit (CoA).

"The liquidation of all my funds have been cleared by the PSC with the attached Credit Notice from COA," Obiena wrote on his social media pages April 15, as he attached a copy of the clearance dated March 31.

In the document, CoA said that based on its regular audit, over P12 million of expenditures "were in order" and that no notice of suspension or notice of disallowance were issued.

"Five-months long of events have finally come to a close," the 26-year-old athlete said.

Obiena had publicly locked horns with PATAFA after being accused of mishandling his training funds and not paying his coach Vitaly Petrov. He was also accused of falsifying his liquidation reports.

He denied the allegations, while stating that Petrov's payment had been delayed because of his tight schedule in training and tournaments, all while shouldering transfer fees out of his own pocket. He also called out PATAFA for ignoring his concerns as he's training alone in Italy.

In turn, PATAFA didn't endorse him for this year's World Indoor Championships in Serbia on March 18 to 20, as well as the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam on May 12 to 23.

The association's president Philip Juico was also declared persona non grata by the Philippine Olympic Committee for a while because of his handling of the issue.

But the two parties have since ironed out their differences after the PSC's intervention.

Though Obiena already missed the Serbia event, PATAFA agreed to endorse him anew for the SEA Games, as well as the World Outdoor Athletics Championships in the United States on July 15 to 24.

Obiena said he'll now focus on his training in preparation for the Vietnam biennial meet, where he's setting his sights for his second gold medal.

"We now eye with 100% focus the upcoming SEA Games. We will do our very best to represent Philippines," he said.

PhilSTAR L!fe has reached out to Juico for comment.