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POC Ethics Committee to start probe on Obiena-PATAFA row

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has tasked its Ethics Committee to commence next week its probe on a complaint filed by Olympian pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena against Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa).

Obiena filed his complaint before the Athletes Commission and Safe Sports Technical Working Group, according to POC President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

“The POC assures that it will resolve the issues with expediency and hold people who are accountable,” Tolentino said.

Obiena’s complaint – lodged against the Patafa and its president, Philip Ella Juico – borders on alleged harassment; attempting to collude with coaches to fabricate statements; coercing to solicit doctor-patient privileged communication; and psychological abuse, bullying, and neglect of duty.

The Ethics Committee is chaired by rowing’s Patrick Gregorio, with sailing’s Ernesto Echauz and bridge’s Gerry Alquiros as members.

The POC, Tolentino said, also ordered the Patafa to cease further releasing media statements in order to prevent further damages they could bring to Philippine sports.

Obiena and Vitaly Petrov, went online on Sunday to air their grievances against the Patafa’s claim that the multi-medalist athlete didn’t pay the legendary pole vaulting coach his salaries.

Obiena claimed otherwise and prompted the Patafa from shifting its accusation from non-payment to late payment of the Ukranian’s salaries.

Earlier this week, the Senate budget committee withheld its approval of the Philippine Sports Commission’s 2023 budget unless the sports agency fixes the row.

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