Pole vault

EJ Obiena refutes doping accusations anew with lie detector tests

Philip Matel

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EJ Obiena refutes doping accusations anew with lie detector tests

GAZE. The Philippines' Ernest John Obiena reacts during the men's pole vault final of the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

Aleksandra Szmigiel/REUTERS

Already cleared from 11 random drug tests this year, Filipino pole vault star EJ Obiena further proves his innocence from doping accusations by undergoing lie detector tests

MANILA, Philippines – EJ Obiena may have already cleared 34 drug tests conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency, including 11 this year, but the camp of the world No. 2 pole vaulter made sure to refute the doping accusations anew, this time with a couple of lie detector tests.

EJ Obiena refutes doping accusations anew with lie detector tests

Obiena held a virtual press conference in Dubai on Thursday, October 19, saying he was “pissed” after learning that the wife of 2012 Olympic gold medalist Renauld Lavillenie accused him on social media of using performance-enhancing drugs.

“I think I’ve been very clear. I am pissed off [from] this. When I first read this, I was like, ‘Where did this come from?’ I had not talked to this woman,” said Obiena.

“I have not interacted with her. For her to say this out in public, against me, my team, and my coach, makes me fume,” he added.

“I mean, I’m clean. I’ve done everything I can to do my best, to get to where I’m at now, and to say I took a shortcut, all that work was because of doping, then of course, I’m pissed.”

Obiena already denied the claims of Anais Lavillenie, a former pole vaulter herself, in his social media account on Sunday, October 15, saying his camp is mulling legal action.

This time, Obiena publicly answered questions together with his coach Vitaly Petrov, financial backer James Lafferty, and polygraph expert Hester du Plessis.

To further prove their point, Obiena’s camp made the 27-year-old Filipino recently undergo two separate lie detector tests – the conventional polygraph method and the EyeDetect, a new test that claims to be more accurate.

Obiena was asked if he doped and if he participated in match fixing, and he tested negative in both tests. 

“Unfortunately, once a question is raised, it is difficult to erase the stain completely. This compilation of evidence proves the allegations raised by Ms. Lavillenie are unfounded,” Obiena’s camp said in a statement. 

“This data is shared freely with the public in the spirit of complete transparency. It will also be used as supporting evidence should any legal action be forthcoming.”

Obiena’s camp says the team is still studying legal remedies, whether they would file cases against Anais Lavillenie or her husband Renauld.

Anais said in a now deleted post that Obiena will suffer the same fate as Brazilian Thiago Braz, who was provisionally suspended for doping.

Braz, formerly mentored by Petrov, edged the French pole vaulter Renauld in the 2016 Rio Olympics to claim the gold.

“Obiena doped and it’ll fall like Braz. Same coach, same plan, same objective,” Anais commented on the Facebook page of Vaulter Magazine.

But Lafferty said that due to the incident, Obiena got even “more motivated” and started his training earlier than expected.  

“In some respects, this was a big mistake made on many, many levels because now he’s even more motivated,” said Lafferty. “Right now, he’s pissed off on a different level.” – Rappler.com 

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