Tabal agrees to meet Rio demands
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Marathoner Mary Joy Tabal stepped up on her bid to be reinstated in the national team and meet the requirements to formalize her entry to the Rio Olympics as she sat down with athletics executives and agreed to comply with their rules and regulations yesterday.

“It was a very fruitful discussion,” Tabal said after emerging from the gab at the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association’s office.

A non-national team mainstay, Tabal made the Olympic grade for women’s marathon when she posted 2:43 at the Ottawa Marathon in Canada. But to be able to actually compete in Rio, she must work herself back to the Patafa roster.

The 26-year-old Tabal, accompanied by her sponsors Jonel and Chipi Borromeo of Motor Ace Philippines, talked with Patafa president Philip Ella Juico, secretary general Nonoy Unso, and marketing official Edward Kho for more than two hours. They flew back home to Cebu immediately after the meeting.

“This forms part of the so-called confidence- and trust-building process that we have to go through because of what happened in the past so we’re happy she came here with her benefactors, who are both gentlemen, and we discussed the direction she wishes to take in the short-term – the Rio Olympics – and in long-term after the Olympics,” said Juico.

The first order of the day was to make the Cebuana ace undergo “mandatory, unannounced, out-of-competition drug/doping test” at the nearby PSC Sports Science Center. The test was administered by Dr. Alex Pineda.

Juico said this is in accordance with the IOC, POC, IAAP and Patafa requirements. “We have rules that say those prospects for any international competition, even if they’re not officially in the rolls, shall undergo drug test/doping test because this is a very important matter to the IAAF,” he said.

The athletics body is requiring Tabal, like every national mainstay, to be present in mandatory competitions like he Philippine National Games and Patafa National Open and follow the association’s schedule of local and international tournaments, among others.

“Okay naman, we came up with a good agreement,” said Tabal, agreeing to clear with Patafa every race she plans to compete in.

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