Juico drops Olympian Mary Joy Tabal from national pool: 'Ayaw na namin sa 'yo, tapos'
Patafa head Philip 'Popoy' Juico surrounded by members of the Philippine team as he makes an announcement dropping Mary Joy Tabal from the national pool. Gerry Ramos

THE Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) formally cut ties with Olympian Mary Joy Tabal, who it said has been causing disruption and divisiveness within the federation.

Patafa president Philip Ella Juico said he has already given up on the 27-year-old marathoner, adding the national track and field team is ready to do battle in the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia without her.

“Ayaw na namin sa iyo, tapos,” said an exasperated Juico during a hastily called press conference on Monday at the board room of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

“Sisirain mo itong community, wawasakin mo pa itong federation,” added Juico, who was surrounded by members of the national training pool, coaching staff, and top officials of the federation. “Tigil na, tama na. This has been going on for too long.”

Tabal, of Barangay Guba, Cebu City,has refused to join the national pool and is training on her own with the help of her personal coach.

She recently topped the women’s race of the Scotiabank Ottawa Half-Marathon in Canada, convincing her handlers that she should be part of the Philippine delegation to the SEA Games.

But Patafa insisted the selection for the final lineup of the Philippine team for the SEA Games does not rest on performance alone.

Juico stressed among the equally important conditions for inclusion and retention in the national team are word of honor, fidelity to the national team, respect for athletes and authority, commitment to the federation, and the absence of abhorrent attitude of entitlement.

Tabal, a silver medal winner in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games that should've been enough to make her a cinch for this year’s contingent, has violated most of these requirements, Juico said.

“Athletes should build a good character and attitude,” said longtime national coach Jojo Posadas. “This is national level, so you have to be a good example as a good coach and as a good player.”

“We have to follow rules and regulations.”

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