MARY Joy Tabal personally met with Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) officials led by president Philip Ella Juico on Monday in Manila to iron out issues on her request for reinstatement to the national team and gain the endorsement needed to join the Philippine contingent in the Rio Olympics.
According to a Patafa statement, athletics officials met Tabal, together with Jonel and Chipi Borromeo of her major backer Motorace Philippines, to discuss her bid for reinstatement, weeks after she surpassed the Olympic standard in women’s marathon that made her eligible to compete in Rio.
Tabal clocked two hours, 43 minutes, and 31 seconds in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in Canada, a time that is below the Olympic standard of 2:45:00. But she resigned from the national team last year, which makes a Patafa endorsement necessary for her to race in Rio.
Patafa, however, said a decision on Tabal's request will come in a few days following the meeting, which it described as 'fruitful.'
“We will process all that we took up during what was a fruitful discussion and will need a few days to promulgate our final position on her reinstatement,” said Patafa.
The Patafa statement also noted that Tabal has agreed to comply with the athletics organization's rules and regulations, both current and still to be promulgated, as certain matters remain unresolved, including where she will train and who will be her coach.
Patafa added that Tabal underwent a mandatory doping test at the Philippine Sports Commission Sports Science Center headed by Dr. Alex Pineda as part of requirements by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
Tabal, for her part, said she will wait for Patafa’s decision.
“They are asking me a few more days to finalize everything, and then come up with an agreement,” said Tabal after the meeting.
Juico lauded the efforts of Tabal and her camp to discuss the issue with Patafa personally.
“This forms part of the so-called confidence and trust building that we have to go through after what happened in the past,” said Juico.
“We are happy that she came here along with her two benefactors who are both gentlemen. They have been active in sports so they know where we are coming from,” he added.