Ej Obiena hit back as the issue with Patafa has continued to grow worse after the federation changed the allegation of embezzlement to not paying “on time”.

/ 24 November 2021

Patafa previously accused Obiena of embezzling his training funds but now claimed that the pole vault star did not only pay coach Vitaly Petrov.

“Obiena has reported to Patafa that he had turned over Petrov’s salary from May 2018 to August 2021 on time. Records, however, revealed that Obiena had settled obligations with Petrov only recently this month and not during the months that he had officially reported having paid his coach’s salary,” PATAFA president Philip Juico said in a statement.

In response to the change of accusations, Obiena released his statements too saying that the federation has now different byword after coach Petrov flatly refuted their claims.

“I am personally shocked at the recent statement and shifting allegations of PATAFA. From their written letters of accusing me of embezzlement; to suddenly changing it to timing of payments? Instead of admitting they were wrong, they now change the subject: Now the issue is, apparently, I perhaps did not pay Petrov ‘on time’,” Obiena said.

The athlete also revealed that after grinding of training of nine hours a day in Italy, Patafa also passed its obligations to Obiena to pay the coaches when it should have been the job of the federation.

“They could help me by simply paying people directly—but they refuse this very simple solution for some reason, and now they accuse me of wrongdoing when I never wanted the job of paymaster to begin with!” he explained.

“I do a job I am not supposed to be doing and then I am out on public trial for doing that very job? The real question is, why doesn’t PATAFA do their job and pay the coaches directly, allowing me to focus on training rather than accounting?”

Yet, at the end of the day, what Obiena wanted is to clear his name but “do not hold much hope” to Patafa as he averred that he is “not wanted” by the federation.

“It is clear I am not wanted by my Federation in any shape or form. I am attacked without any due process and now the narrative and accusations have somehow changed. I am cut from funding and left figuring it out somehow here in Italy. I am destroyed mentally and reputationally. And the attacks keep coming. Clearly, I am not wanted.”