The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) will continue its investigation over pole vault star EJ Obiena’s payments to Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.
In a statement released on Tuesday, November 23, PATAFA announced it will create an independent administrative committee that will lead the investigation and file the reports as it has instructed Obiena to provide proof of payment to his Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.
The national federation has also reiterated that it had received a letter from pole vault great Sergey Bubka, which contained written statements by Petrov stating that he “DID NOT receive any monthly coach’s fees for the years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021”.
“Based on the records of PATAFA, the coach’s fees of Mr. Petrov were released to Mr. Obiena since May 2018 up to August 2021, either personally or through his authorized representatives,” read the statement.
PATAFA also received Obiena’s written explanation to the Committee.
“The committee is presently conducting a thorough and an in-depth investigation covering the issues at hand and will release as soon as practicable its findings and recommendations,” added the statement.
On Sunday, November 21, Obiena denied allegations of embezzlement over a report that stated the Tokyo 2020 Olympian needed to return 85,000 euros (P4.8 million) for the coaching fees of Petrov.
Petrov also appeared in Obiena’s online press conference and rejected the claims that he wrote statements against the Filipino pole vaulter.
The current world No. 6 and Asian pole vault record holder also filed complaints for defamation and slander with the Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission and World Athletics.
After confirming that his funding has been cut while he’s training in Formia, Italy, Obiena threatened to retire from the sport. – Rappler.com