EJ Obiena back with PH national team

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 17)— Pole vault star EJ Obiena has been reinstated to the Philippine national team, sports officials announced on Wednesday.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) said the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) formally endorsed the move.

"[M]ajority of PATAFA Board members voted on it during their special board meeting held last Saturday," the PSC said in a statement, adding that the decision will take effect this month.

Obiena and the athletics body were earlier entangled in a rift as the Olympian was accused of embezzling training funds and falsifying liquidation reports. PATAFA officials later recommended Obiena's expulsion from the national team pool, while the pole vaulter maintained innocence on the matter.

In March, the PSC announced that Obiena and PATAFA settled their dispute through a mediation process. The sports body then sought Obiena's reinstatement to the national team, and asked that he be "given the same allowances previously extended to him."

READ: EJ Obiena-PATAFA conflict over; pole vaulter gets endorsement in two major tournaments

Obiena recently logged a career-high world ranking of No. 3 following his historic bronze medal finish at the 2022 World Athletics Championships.