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"I am a 100% CLEAN ATHLETE" Obiena accepts apology from wife of fellow pole-vaulter
"I am a 100% CLEAN ATHLETE" Obiena accepts apology from wife of fellow pole-vaulter
Sports
"I am a 100% CLEAN ATHLETE" Obiena accepts apology from wife of fellow pole-vaulter
by Kristan Carag27 October 2023
Asian Games - Hangzhou 2022 - Athletics - Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Hangzhou, China - September 30, 2023 Philippines' Ernest John Obiena celebrates with the Philippines flag after winning the Men's Pole Vault Final REUTERS/Jeremy Lee

Arnais Lavillenie, wife of French pole vaulter and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie, issued an apology to EJ Obiena of the Philippines, whom she previously alleged took performance enhancement drugs.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, October 26, Obiena posted an apology letter signed by Ms. Lavillenie.

"I made a stupid amalgam that I should have never done and written. I admit and that's why I deleted the comment after the face but the damage was done. I am sincerely sorry," the letter read.

"I am aware that I have disrespected you and your coach and I deeply regret my act," she further wrote.

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Obiena, who recently won a gold medal in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, said that he accepts the apology of Ms. Lavillenie, which he presented as proof that he never took an illegal substance.

"I received today the attached apology letter from Anais Lavillenie. I accept this. She admits she was wrong and she admits what she did was wrong. This fact, alongside all other facts makes it clear. I am a 100% CLEAN ATHLETE," Obiena said.

The Asian record holder and three-time Southeast Asian gold medalist stressed that his achievements resulted from his hard work.

"I went further in defense than any athlete in history has done. Because I know myself and I HAVE NEVER DOPED. What I have accomplished is from countless hours of rigorous hard work with my team, in a land far from my family, home and country," Obiena reiterated.

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With the receipt of the apology letter, the camp of Obiena has seemingly shelved plans to pursue legal actions against Mr. Lavillenie.

The 27-year old Filipino pole vaulter even called for his supporters to stop messaging the Lavillenie couple over the issue.

"I have no desire to disrupt my Paris Olympics preparation in pursuing a legal case. I also would like to keep the close-knit nature of the elite pole vault community and have no desire to disrupt these dynamics," Obiena said.

"So, I am prepared to accept a full and complete apology and move on. This is what I believe the bigger person would do," he added.

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Obiena earlier released the results of his anti-doping tests from World Anto-Doping Agency, and underwent a polygraph examination in order to belie the allegations that he takes performance enhancement drugs.

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