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EJ Obiena considering retirement if issue with PATAFA not resolved

Filipino Olympic pole vaulter EJ Obiena said on Sunday that retirement will be one of his options if his current situation with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) will not see a resolution.

Obiena held a press conference to address the letter he received from the sports association claiming that he appeared to have falsified liquidation and failed to pay his coach, Vitaly Petrov.

In a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, PATAFA was said to have ordered Obiena to return 85,000 Euros or more than P4 million worth of financial assistance.

The Tokyo Olympian appeared beside his coach, Petrov, who confirmed that all of the payments had been made and that they had submitted documentation to PATAFA support this.

Though he admitted there may have been lapses in doing his paperwork, Obiena believed the charges leveled against him was “slander and defamation of character” and had “intent to destroy his reputation.”

He also called for a full and public withdrawal of the investigation and a public apology from the authorities involved. Should this not be resolved, Obiena said he would consider other options.

"If this does not happen, I will consider my other options being an immediate retirement from the sport that I love in the Philippines and probably return [to] school. As much as I believe there's more for me to achieve, I'm also evaluating other options in the field of sports which may or may not be disclosed at a later date, or not continue to operate under this kind of situation," he said.

—JMB, GMA News