MANILA, Philippines -- The Ethics Committee of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is investigating "with utmost concern" the issue between pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).
Obiena filed a complaint with the POC after he was ordered by PATAFA to return a sum of 85,000 euros, with the federation alleging that he has falsified his liquidation reports and failed to pay his coach, Vitaly Petrov.
Obiena, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, refuted the allegations, while Petrov has gone on record saying he has been fully paid by the pole vaulter.
"We are looking into this matter with utmost concern, and collating pertinent information from both PATAFA and Mr. EJ Obiena to ensure due process," said POC Ethics Committee chairman Pato Gregorio in a statement.
Gregorio is joined in the Ethics Committee by Gerry Alquiros of the country's bridge federation, and Ernesto Echauz of sailing. Atty. Wharton Chan heads the POC's legal team.
According to Gregorio, he has already communicated with both Obiena and PATAFA, although he provided no details.
"The committee has been tirelessly working with our legal team to resolve the issue at the soonest possible time," Gregorio assured.
"We do not want shortcuts here," he also stressed. "What we want is to shed light on the matter and ensure that the truth will prevail."
Aside from the POC's investigation, the PSC has also sent a Mediation Submission Agreement to both Obiena and PATAFA, with both parties required to respond by December 15 at the latest.
The PSC has already noted that the situation between Obiena and PATAFA has gotten the attention of the international sports community, and the agency is hoping for an amicable resolution between the two parties.