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Obiena denies 'falsifying' liquidations submitted to Philippine athletics body

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Obiena denies 'falsifying' liquidations submitted to Philippine athletics body
Philippines' Ernest John Obiena competes in the men's pole vault final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 3, 2021.
AFP / Ben Stansall

MANILA, Philippines — EJ Obiena denied reports that came out on Sunday saying the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) has ordered him to return 85,000 euros (around P4,800,000) in financial assistance after claims that he "falsified the liquidations submitted".

Per a report by the Inquirer, Patafa addressed the pole vaulter in a letter.

"It appears that you falsified the liquidations submitted to the Patafa and failed to pay the coaching fees of Mr. Vitaly Petrov in the total amount of Eighty-Five Thousand Euros (€85,000)," said the letter.

Petrov helped Obiena rise in his pole vaulting career and called the shots for the 26-year-old in the Tokyo Olympics last July.

Obiena took to social media Sunday afternoon to deny the report.

"Undoubtedly, some of you have seen today's press article reporting on questions raised regarding payments made to my coach, Vitaly Petrov. All I can say, with documented evidence, is these rumours are 100% false and represent nothing more than character assassination," Obiena wrote.

"I have prided myself in embracing the values of discipline, competitiveness, honour, transparency, and respect. This doesn't change even in times of crisis," he added.

Obiena added that he and his coach will hold a public press conference Sunday evening to "put all questions to rest".

The pole vaulter didn't end his statement without a jab at whoever was the source of the report.

"The only thing we truly own in life is our reputation. I will fiercely defend mine from baseless allegations; which expose the political underbelly of some in the world of sports," he concluded.

EJ OBIENA POLE VAULT
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