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PATAFA recommends ouster of EJ from NT, to sue Obiena fam for estafa

The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) has decided to banish Olympian EJ Obiena from its national team pool.

In a press conference held on Tuesday morning, the country’s national sports association (NSA) revealed that through its investigation, that the 26-year-old pole vaulter had failed to liquidate an amount of €61,026.80 (P3,542,533.39) which was supposed to be paid to his head coach Vitaly Petrov.

EJ’s mom Jeanette was also said to have embezzled P624,116.76, according to the NSA. PATAFA said that Jeanette, who works as their auditor, claimed that this was supposed to be a reimbursement to Petrov.

“Now he has to face the consequences,” said PATAFA president Popoy Juico.

With this, PATAFA is looking to file a case of estafa against EJ and Jeanette.

PATAFA will raise a complaint against Petrov to World Athletics for violation of the “Integrity Code of Conduct.”

“Obviously, the remittances/transfers were resorted to in order to cover the irregularities committed by EJ Obiena and to make it appear that Mr. Petrov was paid his coaching fees, when in fact he was not,” said Juico.

In addition, PATAFA booster and EJ’s advisor Jim Lafferty has been declared as a persona non-grata by the federation.

Petrov has also been terminated as a coach of the national team.

For Juico, this was the conclusion made by their internal investigation. And transparency is what was not shown by Obiena’s camp.

“The report brought so much sadness and feelings of betrayal,” rued Juico. “But we have to face the challenge because we should account for all the funds, government and private, given we have a responsibility over showing of all moral, ethical consideration.”

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