SEA Games: Pinay karateka with gold potential puts controversy behind her

Dennis Principe

Posted at Nov 11 2019 11:44 PM

Philippine karate sports federation head Richard Lim says the suspension imposed on Joane Orbon relating to a banned substance is a thing of the past. Handout

California-based Joane Orbon, once ranked No. 7 in the world, joins the Philippines team in training in Turkey. Handout

An elite Filipina karateka is set to formally join and lead the Philippines national team to its campaign in the Southeast Asian Games and eventually the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Once ranked top 10 in the world, Joane Orbon, 25, is now in Turkey to be part of the national karateka’s two-month training which started early September.

Born in San Jose, Calif., but relocated to Stockton, the 61-kilogramclass campaigner was once ranked seventh in the world but inactivity due to a foot injury and a contentious doping issue dropped the Filipina-American karateka out of the ratings.

But Richard Lim, president of the Karate Pilipinas Sports Federation Inc., the sports national governing body, said everything is going smoothly when it comes to the legalities surrounding Orbon’s case.

Orbon was suspended last February after she tested positive for the banned substance LGD-4033.

But she was able to convince the American anti-doping body USADA of possible contamination of dietary supplement she was taking, leading to the lifting of the ban last September.

Orbon, who has since switched federations from the United States to her current membership with KPSFI is unperturbed when it comes to her main aim of leading the country’s quest to send qualifiers for the Tokyo Games.

“This is my homeland and giving back to the culture given to me as a person, I really have nothing much to gain with this switch in federation other that the pride of representing the Philippines,” said Orbon.

Orbon, who traces her roots in Ilocos and Bicol, was supposed to compete in the National’s tournament campaign in Turkey but was advised by Lim to beg off and just join their rigid training.

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2019 SEA Games