Stick to the money issue, says Juico

Philip Juico (MB File Photo)

Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) president Philip Juico remains steadfast in pursuing “transparency and accountability” in light of the recent statements made by EJ Obiena’s Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.

“Let us not be distracted by such statements when the issue is for Obiena to explain how he used the funds provided (to) him, why it took him three years to pay the (said) fees, where were the government funds during all those three years and what’s the explanation for all those liquidation reports submitted earlier than November 2021 if Petrov had been paid,” Juico told Manila Bulletin.

“They’re using social media to run away from the money issue.”

Petrov, who finally broke his silence since the issue began a few months ago, expressed his disappointment in a social media post Wednesday about the ongoing dispute between Obiena and Patafa.

The 84-year-old mentor claimed he has never heard Patafa nor Juico ask him what they can do to develop Obiena during the seven year that he has been training the Tokyo Olympian.

Petrov also said he has “never been scorned by any federation of any nation” that he has worked with for the last 57 years as coach.

Patafa’s administrative committee has earlier recommended the expulsion of Obiena and termination of Petrov as Patafa coach.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has offered to mediate in resolving the issue between two parties. Patafa has agreed to mediation, but Obiena begged off.