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    EJ Obiena says he will not represent another country in competition

    Nov 30, 2021
    EJ Obiena
    Several countries have offered to take EJ OBiena in, but the holder of the Asian pole vault record declined.

    EJ OBIENA has no plans to compete for another country in international competitions amid the dispute with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.

    In a lengthy post on his Facebook page, Obiena confirmed the statements made by his mentor James Lafferty that several countries have offered to take him in, saying that a few of them were made several years ago.

    But Obiena said he declined, citing the importance of loyalty. The Filipino athlete said he will still choose to represent the country even with the controversy surrounding him and his mother federation.

    “I will never abandon my nation because of money. That’s not loyalty. At least not how I define it,” said Obiena.

    “Even now, in this current crisis, I have no desire to change nations. I see these statements on social media and active encouragement to switch allegiances. But this is not who I am and why I do this. I want to win for Philippines and show the world what we can do. I want to win for us,” said Obiena.

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    The Filipino pole vaulter said he is at a loss why he was dragged into a controversy in relation to Patafa conducting a probe in relation to the salaries of Obiena’s coach Vitaly Petrov not being paid.

    EJ Obiena with coach Petrov

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    EJ Obiena with coach Vitaly Petrov.

    “I have realized I may at some point have no option. I cannot accept to be accused of false allegations and have my reputation smeared. I know I may at some point be forced into choices I don’t want to make. It seems to be happening a lot lately like defending myself in a rushed presscon. But my goal is focused on winning gold medals for my nation, my country, my flag—The Philippines.

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      “Speaking of loyalty, this is the foundation of my strong defense of these allegations. When one values loyalty, one cannot comprehend how my own ‘mother organization’ turned on me, never consulted with me, never asked me any questions, never gave me the benefit of the doubt. That’s not loyalty. Again, at least not how I define it,” said Obiena.

      “I am fighting to bring honor and glory for my country. Others fight for ego, or power. But that’s not me. I fight for higher principles. Loyalty is a virtue. And loyalty still matters,” said Obiena.

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      Several countries have offered to take EJ OBiena in, but the holder of the Asian pole vault record declined.
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