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EJ Obiena denies using performance-enhancing drugs, mulls legal move October 21,2023 - 07:00 AM

EJ Obiena

FILE–The Philippines’ EJ Obiena reacts as he competes in the men’s pole vault final during the World Athletics Championships at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest on August 26, 2023. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — EJ Obiena has strongly refuted the doping allegations that have been made against the Filipino pole vaulter, saying he has passed 34 doping tests since turning professional including 11 that were conducted this year.

James Lafferty said in a virtual press conference on Thursday that Obiena also underwent two separate lie detector tests and EyeDetect to quash the doping allegation made by Anais Lavillenie, the wife of French pole vaulter Renaud.

“EJ Obiena has taken a truly unprecedented step of releasing not only his doping testing statistics from WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency); but also the results of the voluntary subjecting of himself to a polygraph examination; as well as a newer form of lie detection, Eye Detect, both of which conclusively show EJ has never doped in his entire career,” Obiena’s camp said in a statement. “No other athlete has ever taken such exceptional steps to prove their innocence.”

“The amount of evidence showing EJ is a clean athlete is simply overwhelming; and beyond reproach. And, by virtue of this body of evidence, his Coach, Vitaly Petrov, is also absolved of any suspicions whatsoever. Vitaly was unfairly linked by the irresponsible posting, which also damaged his reputation and raised unfair and unfounded questions,” the statement read.

READ: EJ Obiena delivers PH’s first Asian Games gold in Hangzhou with record win

Obiena, who recently won the Asian Games gold medal in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday called out Lavillenie, who said in a Facebook comment that Obiena had allegedly “doped.”

“I want to remain classy and dignified on this subject. All I will say is I am disappointed, angry and feel wronged by these statements. I will let the story evolve while my team explores the many angles including legal. I guess this is part of the price you pay when you win,” Obiena said in a Facebook post.

The 27-year-old EJ Obiena became the first Filipino to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.


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TAGS: 2024 Olympics, doping, EJ Obiena, pole vault

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