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PSC withdraws mediation offer between Patafa and Obiena

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez 

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has withdrawn its mediation offer between Olympian pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa).

In a statement released Monday, PSC chairman Butch Ramirez said the development came “in light of the recent decision of (Mr. Ernest John) Obiena as posted on his social media account.”

“This action is taken in order to allow (Patafa) to proceed and finalize their investigation, which they suspended in deference to the mediation process which they agreed to submit to with a signed mediation agreement form,” the statement read.

In a social media post dated Dec. 24, Obiena said he remains open to mediation, but only if necessary after the Philippine Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) investigation.

“With all the facts on the table, I honestly don’t see what is left to mediate,” Obiena said, clarifying that he has no issue with the PSC mediation.

“What is there to mediate? Every accusation had been refuted. What is left is a clearing of my good name, my full reinstatement, and necessary changes to the system to avoid this situation to ever happen again and avoid this burden being placed on athletes.”

Patafa has complied with the PSC request to submit the signed Mediation Agreement before the Dec. 15 deadline concerning its ongoing dispute with Obiena, believing that the urgency for the mediation process to begin for the issue to be resolved is crucial.

Patafa Board Member Datu Yusoph Mama signed the document as authorized by the board.

The PSC, however, has allowed Obiena a few days beyond the set date to submit his Mediation Agreement document.

Despite these developments, Ramirez said “the PSC is not closing its doors to pursuing this when both parties decide to do so.”

“Mediation is a voluntary agreement from all concerned,” he said.

In the meantime, Ramirez assured that the government sports agency is also looking at documents and records relative to the matter.

Obiena and Patafa have been at the center of controversy the past months after Patafa accused the Tokyo Olympian for allegedly falsifying liquidation records regarding the funds intended for his Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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