Official: POC can’t intervene when athletes removed from SEA Games rosters

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2019 03:05 PM

POC president Abraham Tolentino, PHISGOC head Alan Peter Cayetano, PSC chairman William Ramirez and PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez attend the sendoff of Filipino athletes to the SEA Games. On Tuesday, Tolentino said each federation governing a sport's national affairs works as an independent entity, and the POC's hands are tied. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) cannot interfere in the on-going controversies regarding the removal of athletes from the national team rosters for the Southeast Asian Games.

This, according to POC president Abraham “Bambol" Tolentino after a karateka and a skateboarder revealed on social media that they had been unceremoniously removed from the SEA Games rosters.

James delos Santos, who won a bronze medal in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, alleged that he was robbed of a slot in the national team by Karate Pilipinas Inc. (KPI), the sport's national governing body, after a “sham" of an evaluation process.

Skateboarder Kiddo Trinidad, meanwhile, revealed she was taken off the national team in favor of “handpicked" skaters by the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines. This, despite qualifying through the national championships and being welcomed to the team by the president of the association.

Speaking at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, Tolentino said he was well aware of those issues.

" ‘Yung mga ganoon kasi, policy na ng NSA (national sports association) ‘yun,” Tolentino explained.

“Hindi pwede mag-butt in ang POC leadership.”

Each NSA has its own qualifying policy, said Tolentino, and the POC cannot interfere in that situation.

“The POC cannot butt in on that. That’s the policy of each NSA and how do they qualify,” he added.

The KPI, through its Facebook account, said its selection was made by coaches “based on the criteria it adopted, and not based on personalities who may feel important or popular.” The selection process was made by coaches who have first hand knowledge of the performance of the karatekas in the national team pool.

The SRSA has yet to respond to the allegations bared by Trinidad Monday. 

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