BANISHED marathoner Mary Joy Tabal has been given a glimmer of hope in her bid to be reinstated to the national team, even if it entails following tough provisions set by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa).
The conditions range from joining the national team in training camps in Manila or Baguio, to vague provisions such as “compliance with the universal code of conduct, written or unwritten, expected of all elite athletes.”
Tabal, who last year was able to regain his spot in the national team for the Rio Olympics where she placed 124th in the women’s marathon, is again seeking reinstatement to be able to compete in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur this year.
She was expelled from the national pool five days ago, accused of causing 'disruption and divisiveness' within the federation.
To be reinstated, Tabal is required to submit a written statement that she will abide by the Patafa rules and regulations to be sent to the organization on or before June 14, since June 15 is the deadline of submission of final entries for the SEA Games.
The Patafa reinstatement committee released its recommendation on Friday.
The Patafa also said Tabal needs to be “conducting herself at all times in a manner that demonstrates respect to fellow athletes.”
“Our main goal is to win as many medals as possible to justify the support of PSC, the private sector and the tremendous single-minded effort and labors of rules-abiding, value-driven and respectful Patafa community and team of athletes, coaches and officials bound by a common goal. We're moving toward that goal but keeping our principles intact and not being distracted by.... forces,” said Juico.
The Patafa reinstatement committee is made up of co-chairman and director Rufus Rodriguez, secretary general Renato Unso, communications and marketing director Edward Kho, Nicanor Sering and executive vice president and national head coach Jojo Posadas.
Also present in the reinstatement committee meetings was University of Cebu dean Baldomero Estenzo, Patafa’s liaison in Cebu for athletics matters.
Tabal is in Italy training for the SEA Games where she expects to contend for the women’s marathon gold. She said she has submitted a letter of reinstatement to Juico earlier this week.